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Fob the present Edition it has been once more found neces- 
sary, from the progress made in cuneiform discovery and 
decipherment, to subject Essays VI. VII. and VIII. of VoL I, 
to a searching revision, which has resulted in considerable 
alteration, and (it is hoped) improvement. It is scarcely 
necessary to apologize for changes rendered necessary by 
the advances made in a study, which was in its infancy 
when the present work was originally composed and pub- 
lished. Where the materials on which history is based 
increase, history must of necessity be rewritten ; and it 
is to be expected that for many years to come those who 
sketch, or write, the histories of Babylonia and Assyria, 
will have from time to time to review their work and bring 
it into accordance with the most recent discoveries. In 
revising his account of the Babylonian and Assyrian Mon- 
archies, the author has received much assistance from 
Mr. George Smith, of the British Museum, to whom he 
desires to make hereby sincere and grateful acknowledg- 

Ox/ord, December, 1S74. 



Seven years have elapsed since this work was first promised 
to the public. It was then stated that its object would be at 
once to present the English reader with a correct yet free 
translation, and to collect and methodize for the student the 
chief illustrations of the author, which modern learning and 
research had up to that time accumulated. The promise 
thus made might without much difficulty have been redeemed 
within the space of two or three years. Parallel, however, 
with the progress of the work, which was commenced at once, 
a series of fresh discoveries continued for several years to be 
made — more especially on points connected with the eth- 
nography of the East, and the history, geography, and 
religion of Babylonia and Assyria — the results of which it 
seemed desirable to incorporate, at whatever cost of time and 
labour. Great portions of the present volume had thus, from 
time to time, to be rewritten. This circumstance, and the 
unavoidable absence of Sir Henry Rawlinson from England 
during three years out of the seven, will, it is hoped, be 
deemed sufficient apology for the delay that has occurred in 
the publication. 

Some apology may also seem to be required for the project 
of a new translation. When this work was designed, Hero- 
dotus already existed in our language in five or six different 
versions. Besides literal translations intended merely for the 
use of students, Littlebury in 1737, Beloe in 1791, and Mr. 
Isaac Taylor in 1829, had given " the Father of History " an 
English dress designed to recommend him to the general 
reader. The defects of the two former of these works — 
defects arising in part from the low state of Greek scholar- 


into which Larcher and Bahr have fallen, of overlaying the 
text with the commentary. If the principle here indicated is 
anywhere infringed, it will be found that the infringement 
arises from a press of modem matter not previously brought 
to bear upon the author, and of a character which seemed to 
require juxtaposition with his statements. 

The Editor cannot lay this instalment of his work before 
the public without at once recording his obligations to the 
kindness of several friends. His grateful acknowledgments 
are due to the Rector and Fellows of Exeter College for the 
free use of their. valuable Ubrary ; to Dr. Bandinel, librarian of 
the Bodleian, and the Rev. H. 0. Coxe, sub-librarian of the 
same, for much attention and courtesy ; to Professor Lassen, 
of Bonn, for kind directions as to German sources of illustra- 
tion ; to Dr. Scott, Master of Balliol, for assistance on difficult 
points of scholarship ; and to Professor Max Miiller, of this 
University, for many useful hints upon subjects connected 
with ethnology and comparative philology. Chiefly, how- 
ever, he has to thank his two colleagues. Sir Henry Rawlin- 
son and Sir Gardner Wilkinson, for their invaluable assistance. 
The share which these writers have taken in the work is very 
insufficiently represented by the attachment of their initials to 
the notes and essays actually contributed by them. Sir Henry 
Rawlinson esi)ecially has exercised a general supervision over 
the Oriental portion of the comment ; and although he is, of 
course, not to be regarded as responsible for any statements 
but those to which his initials are affixed, he has, in fact, 
lent his aid throughout in all that concerns the geography, 
ethnography, and history of the Eastern nations. It was the 
promise of this assistance which alone emboldened the Editor 
to undertake a work of such pretension as the full illustration 
from the best sources, ancient and modem, of so discursive a 
writer as Herodotus. It will be, he feels, the advantage 
derived from the free bestowal of the assistance which will lend 
to the work itself its pi-incipal and most permanent interest. 

Oxford, January Ist, 1858. 





Impofisibilitj of writing a complete life of Herodotns. His time, as determined 
from his History. Date of his birth, as fixed by ancient writers, B.C. 484. 
His birthplace — Halicamassus. His parents, Ljzes and Rhoeo — their 
means and station. A branch of his family settled in Chios, probably. His 
education and acqnaintance with Greek literature. His travels, their 
extent and completeness. Their probable date and start inpr-point. Cir- 
cnmstances of his life, according to Saidas and other writers. Political 
adventures — their truth questioned. Residence at Samos — doubtful. 
Removal to Athens. Recitation of his work there. Reward assigned him. 
Alleged recitations in other Greek cities. The pretended recitation iit 
Olympia. Thucydides and Herodotus. Herodotus and Sophocles. Men of 
note whom Herodotus would meet at Athens. Reasons for his leaving it. 
Colonization of Thurium. Men of note among the early colonists. Tho 
History of Herodotus retouched, but not originally composed, at Thurium. 
Some large portions may have been written there ; and his History of 
Assyria. State of Thurium during his residence. Time and place of his 
death. Herodotus probably unmarried : his heir Plesirrhous. His great 
work left unfinished at his decease ... ... ... ... Page 1 



Importance of the question. Historical materials already existing in Greece 
Works of three kinds : 1. Mythological ; 2. Geographical ; 3. Strictly. 
historical. How far used as materials by Herodotus. Xanthus. Charon . 


DionjBiiiB. The gfeographers : HeoataBUS, Scylaz, Aristeas. The poets. 
Chief source of the History of Herodotus, personal observation and 
inquiry. How far authenticated by monumental records : 1. In Greece ; 
2. In foreign countries — Egypt, Babylon, Persia. General result... Page 85 



Merits of Herodotus as an historian : 1. Diligence. 2. Honesty — Failure of all 
attacks on his voracity. 3. Impartiality — Charges of prejudice — Remark- 
able instances of candour. 4. Political dispassionateness. 5. Freedom 

from national vanity. Defects as an historian : 1. Credulity — Belief in 

omens, ' oracles, dreams, Ac. — Theory of Divine Nemesis — Marvels in 
Nature. 2. Spirit of Exaggeration — Anecdotes. 3. Want of accuracy — 
Discrepancies — Repetitions — Loose chronology, Ac. 4. Want of historical 
insight — Confusion of occasions with causes — Defective geography — Absurd 

meteorology — Mythology — Philology. Merits as a writer: 1. Unity — 

Scope of the work. 2. Clever management of the episodes — Question of 
their relevancy. 3. Skill in character.drawing — The Persians — The 
Spartans — The Athenians — Persian and Spartan kings : Themistocles — 
Aristides — Greek Tyrants — Croesus — Amasis — Nitocris — Tomyris, Ac. 4. 
Dramatic power. 5. Pathos. 6. Humour. 7. Variety. 8. Pictorial 
description. 9. Simplicity. 10. Beauty of style. Conclusion ... 69 



Causes of the war between Greece and Persia — 1. Mythic (1-6). 2. Historic — 
Aggressions of CroBSus — Previous Lydian History (6-25). Conquests of 
CroBBUs (26-28). Visit of Solon to the court of Croesus (29-33). Story of 
Adrastus and Atys (34-45). Preparations of Croosus against Cyrus — Con- 
sultation of the oracles ('16-55). Croesus seeks a Greek alliance — Hellenes 
and Pelasgi (56-58). State of Athens under Pisistratus (59-64). Early 
History of Sparta (65-68). Alliance of Croesus with Sparta (69-70). 
Croesus warned (71). Croesus invades Cappadocia — His war with Cyrus 
(72-85). Danger and deliverance of Croesus (86-87). His advice to Cyrus 
(88-89). His message to the Delphic oracle (90-91). His offerings (92). 
Wonders of Lydia (93). Manners and customs of the Lydians (9i). His- 
tory of Cyrus — Old Assyrian Empire— Revolt of Media (95). Early 
Median History (96-107). Birth and bringing-up of Cyrus (108-122). 

'contents of vol. I. xi 

Incitements to revolt (123-4). He sonnds the feelings of tho Peraians— 
their Ten Tribes (125-6). BcTolt and strnggle (127-130). Cnstoms of the 
Pezsians (131-140). Cjrua threatens the Ionian Greeks (141). Account 
of the Greek settlements in Asia (142-151). Sparta interferes to protect 
the Greeks (152). Sardis revolts and is reduced (153-7). Fate of Factjas 
(158-lGO). Reduction of the Asiatic Greeks (161-170). The Carians, 
Cannians, and Lycians attacked — their customs — they submit to the 
Persians (171-6). Conquests of Cyrus in Upper Asia (177). Description of 
Babylon (178-187). Cyrus marches on Babylon (188-190). Fall of Babylon 
(191). Description of Babylonia (192-3). Customs of the Babylonians 
(194-200). Expedition of Cyrus against the Massagetss (201). The River 
Araxes (202). The Caspian (203-4). Tomyris— her offer to Cyrus (205-6) 
Advice given by Cnesus, adopted by Cyrus (207-8). Dream of Cyrus 
(209-210). Two battles with the Massagetov— Defeat and death of Cyrus 
(211-4). Manners and customs of the MassagetSB (215) ... Page 143 




1. Date of the taking of Sardis by Cyrus — according to tho common account, 
B.C. 546. 2. According to Volney and Heeren, B.C. 557. 3. Probable 
actual date, B.C. 554. 4. First or mythic period of Lydian history — 
dynasty of the Atyadse. 5. Colonization of Etruria. 6. Conquest of the 
Maeonians by the Lydians — Torrhebia. 7. Second period — dynasty of the 
HeraclidsB, B.C. 1229 to B.C. 724 — descent of Agron. 8. Scantiness of the 
historical data for this period. 9. Lydiacaof Xanthus. 10. Insignificance 
of Lydia before Gygos. 11. Third period, B.C. 72 t-55'li — legend of Gyges 
— he obtains the throne by favour of the Dolphic oraclo. 12. Reign of 
Gyges, B.C. 724-686 — his wars with tho Greeks of the coast. 13. Reign 
of Ardys, B.C. 686-637. 14. Invasion of the Cimmerians. 15. Reign of 
Sadyattes, B.C. 637-625. 16. Reign of Alyattes, B.C. 625.568— war with 
Miletus. - 17. Great war between Alyattes and Cyaxares, king of Media — 
eclipse of Thalee, b.c. 603 (?). 18. Peaceful close of his reign — employ- 
ment of the population in the construction of his tomb. 19. Supposed 
association of Crcesus in the government by Alyattes. 20. Reign of 
Croesus, b.c. 568-55-i — his enormous wealth. 21. Powerful effect on the 
Greek mind of his reverse of fortune— his history becomes a favourite 
theme with romance Ys-riters, who continually embellish it ... ... 336 




1. Physical Geography of Asia Minor — Shape, dimenaions, and bonndaries. 
2. Great central Platoan. 3. Division of Platean— Lake region — Northeni 
flat— Rivers which drain the latter— (i.) The YechiUIrmdk, or Iris— (ii.) The 
KiziLIrmale, or Halys— (iii.) The SakhaHyeh, or Sangarins. 4. Coast tracts 
ontside the Platcaa: (i.) Sonthem — (ii.) Northern — (iii.) Western. 5. Its 
rivers. 6. Its general character. 7. Political Geography. 8. Fifteen 
nations: (I) Phrygians — (ii.) Matidni — (iii.) Cilicians — (iv.) Pamphylians 
— (v.) Lycians — (vir) Cannians — (vii.) Carians — (viii.) Lydians — (ix.) 
Greeks — (x.) Mysians — (xi.) Thracians — (xii.) Mariandynians — (xiii.) 
Paphlagonians — (xiv.) Chalybes — (xv.) Cappadocians. 9. Comparison of 
Herodotns with EphoroB ... ... ... ... ... Page 374 



Axian origin of the Medes. 2. Close connection with the Persians. 3. 
Original migration from beyond the Iiidns. 4. Modes occupy the tract, 
sonth of the Caspian. 5. First contact between Media and Assyria — Con- 
quest of Sargon. — 6. Media nnder the Assyrians. 7- Establishment of the 
independence : (i.) Account of Ctesias — (ii.) Account of Herodotus. 8. 
Cyaxares the real founder of the monarchy. 9. Events of his reign: (i.) 
His war with the Scyths — (ii.) Conquest of Assyria — (iii.) Conquest of the 
tract between Media and the river Halys — (iv.) War with Alyattes — (v.) Aid 
given to Nebuchadnezzar. 10. Reign of Astyages — uneventful. 11. His 
supposed identity with " Darius the Mede." 12. Media becomes a Persian 
satrapy. 13. Median chronology of Herodotus — its difficulties. 14. 
Attempted solution ... ... ... ... ... ... 388 



1. Eminence of the Pasargadse — modem parallel. 2. The Maraphians and 
Haspians. 3. The Panthialseans, DemsisBans, and Germanians. 4. The 
nomade tribes — the Dahi mentioned in Scripture — the Mardi or " heroes " 
— the Dropici, or Derbices — the Sagartii ... ... ... 412 




DiiScnlties of the common yiew. 2. Dualism and elemental worship two 
different systems. 3. Worship of the elements not the original Persian 
religion. 4. Their most ancient belief pure Daalism. 5. Elemental 
worship the religion of the Magi, who were Scyths. 6. Gradual amalga- 
mation of the two religions ... ... ... ... Page 414 



1. Obscurity of the subject till a recent date — contradictory accounts of Berosus 
and Ctesias. 2. The progress of cuneiform discovery conBrms Berosus. 
3. The Babylonian date for the great Chaldaean Empire which preceded the 
Assyrian, viz. B.C. 2234, is probably historic. 4. The earliest known kings, 
Vrukh and Tl^i. 5. Kudur-mahuk connected with the Chedor.laomer of 
Scripture. 6. Ismi-dagon extended the Chaldaean power over Assyria. 
7. Son and grandson of Ismi.dagon, 8. Uncertainty of the order of suc- 
cession among the later names — Naram.Sin — Sin-shada. 9. Rim-Sin and 
Zur-Sin. 10. Durri-galazu. 11. Puma-puriyas. 12. Khammurahi and 
SajnshU'iluna. 13. Table of kings. Incompleteness of the list. 14. 
Urttkh and Ilgi belong probably to the second historical dynasty of Berosus 
— the other kings to the third. 15. Oeneral sketch. Rise of the first 
Cnshite dynasty. 16. Cuneiform writing. 17. ^\mrod—Urukh—Ihji. 18. 
Babylon conquered by immigrants from Susiana. 19. Second dynasty 
established by Kv.dnr.mahnky B.C. 1976. 20. Activity of Semitic coloniza- 
tion at this time. Phoenicians — Uobrews — settlements in Arabia, Assyria, 
and Syria. 21. Kings of the second dynasty — variety in their titles. Con- 
dition of Assyria at this period. 22. Condition of Susiana. 23. Arabian 
dynasty of Berosus, B.C. 1518-1273 — possible trace in the inscriptions. 
Lar^ Arabian element in the population of Mesopotamia ... ... 420 

Note. — Besearches of Mr. George Smith and others into early Babylonian 
hibtory ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 413 



1. Chronology of the Empire. Views of Ctesias. 2. Opinion of Herodotus. 
3. Heaiions for preferring the latter. 4. Evidence of the Assyrian monu- 
ments. Probable commencement of the Empire, about B.C. 1300. 5. Prob- 


able termination of the Empire, abont b.c. 610. 6. An Assyrian kingdom 
anterior to the Empire, from ab. b.c. 1850. 7. Origin of Assyrian inde- 
pendence. 8. Earliest known kings, Bel'SumiU.Jc^piy Irha-vuly and Asshur. 
iddin-akhi, 9. Earliest continnous series of kings, Asshur-hiUnisi-sUf 
Buxur-Asshur, Asshwr.v/pallit, BeUlushf Pudilf Vul-lush, and ShaZmaneser J., 
the father of Tiglathi-Nin I. 10. Period whioh these reig^ probably occu- 
pied — B.C. 1450 to b.c. 1300. 11. Bcign of Tiglathi-Nin J. — his conqnest of 
Babylon. 12. Second series of eight consecative kings, viz. BeUkudur-uzur, 
Nin-paJa-ziraf Asshvr-dayan /., MutdggiUNehOf Asshyx-ris-ilinif Tiglath- 
Pileser J., Asshur-hil-lcalay and Shamas-Vul. Period occupied by the reigns, 
probably from about b.c. 1245 to b.c. 1065. 13. Reigns of BeUkudur-usur 
and Nin^pala.zira. 14. Reigns of Asshur.dayan I. and MutaggiUNeho, 15. 
Reign of Asshur-ris-ilim, 16. Reign of Tiglath-Piloser I. 17. Reign of 
Asshur-hil'kala. 18. Reign of Shamas.Vul I. 19. Break in the line of 
kings — time of depression in Asspia. 20. Third series of ten consecutive 
kings, viz. Asshur-dayan II., Vul-lush IL, Tiglathi-Nin IL, Asshur-izir.pal, 
Shalmaneser IL, Shamas-Vul II., VuUlush III., Shalmaneser III., Asshur- 
daycm III., and Asshur-lush. 21. Reigns of Asshur-dayan IL and Vul- 
lush 27. Exact Assyrian chronology commences. 22. Reign of Tiglathi- 
Nin IL 23. Reign of Asshur. izir-pal — his conquests. 24. His palace 
and temples. 25. Reign of Shalmaneser IT., the Black Obelisk king. 

26. General view of the state of Asia between b.c. 860 and B.C. 820. 

27. Syrian campaigns of Shalmaneser II. 28. His palace at Calah. 
29. 8hamas-Vul» 30. Campaigns of Shamas-Vul. 31. Vul-lush III. married 
to Semiramis. 32. Reign of Shalmaneser III. 33. Of Asshur-dayan III, 
34. Of Asshur-lush. 35. General table of the kings of the upper dynasty. 
36. Lower dynasty of Assyria — b.c. 745 to B.C. 610. 37. Reign of Tiglath- 
Pileser II. 38. Shalmaneser IV. — ^his siege of Samaria. 39. Sargon — ^his 
extensive conquests. 40. His great palace at Khorsabad. 41. Reign of 
Sennacherib — his great palace at Eoyunjik. 42. His military expeditions. 
43. Length of his reign. 44. Second expedition of Sennacherib into Syria 
— ^miraculous destruction of his army. 45. Sennacherib murdered by his 
sons. 46. Reign of Esar-haddon. 47. His magnificent palaces. 48. 
Asshur-hani-pal — his war with Tirhakah and conquest of Egypt. 49. His 
expedition against the Minni. 50. His great war with Elam. 51. His 
Arabian and Syrian expeditions. 52. His hunting-palace. 53. Later 
years of Asshur-hani-pal. 54. Supposed reign of Bel-zakir-iskun. 55. 
Reign of Asshur-ebil-ili, the Saracus of Berosns, and Sardanapalus of the 
Greek writers (?). 56. His character. 57. Fall of Nineveh. 58. Chrono- 
logical Table of the kings of the lower dynasty. 59. Duration and extent 
of the Empire. 60. Greneral nature of the dominion. 61. Frequency of 
disorders — ^remedies. 62. Assyria the best specimen of a kingdom-empire. 
63. Peculiar features of the dominion : (i.) Religious character of the wars, 
(ii.) Incipient centralization. 64. Character of the civilization — Litera- 
ture — ^Art — Manufactures ... ... ... ... ... Page 451 




1. Subordinate position of Babylonia from B.c. 1900 to B.c. 747. 2. Era of 
Nabonassar, B.C. 747 — supposed connection of Nabonassar with Semiraxnis. 
3. Snocessors of Nabonassar — Herodach-Baladan conquered by Sargon — 
reign of Sargon — Merodaoh-Baladan's second reig^n — ^inyasion of Senna- 
cherib. 4. Reign of Belibns. 5. Beigfns of Asshur.ncidin-Svm, Begibdlns, 
and Mesesimordachns. Bevolt of Babylon, and destmotion of the city by 
Sennacherib. 6. Esar-haddon rebuilds Babylon, and assumes the crown — 
disturbances during his reign — SauLmugina (Saosduchinus) made king by 
Asshnr-bani.pal. 7. Reign of Saul-mugina. 8. Asshur-bani.pal assumes 
the goTemment — ^his liberal policy. 9. Nabopolassar made viceroy. 10. 
His rerolt, and alliance with Cyaxares. Commencement of the Babylonian 
empire. 11. Duration of the empire — three great monarchs. 12. Nabo- 
polassar — extent of his dominions. 13. Increase of the population. 14. 
Chief eyents of his reign — the Lydian war (?) — ^the Egyptian war. 15. Ac- 
cession of Nebuchadnezzar — his triumphant return from Egypt. 16. His 
great works. 17. His conquests. Final captivity of Judah. Siege and 
capture of Tyre. 18. Invasion of Egypt and war with Apries. 19. His 
seven years' lycanthropy. 20. Short reign of Evil-Merodach. 21. Reign 
of Neriglissar, the '* Rab-Mag." 22. Change in the relations of Media and 
Babylon. 28. Reign of Laborosoarchod. 24. Accession of Nabonadins, 
B.C. 556 — his alliance with Crcosus, king of Lydia — his defensive works, 
ascribed to Nitocris. 25. Sequel of the Lydian alliance. 26. Babylon 
attacked by Cyrus. 27. Sioge and fall of Babylon. 28. Conduct of 
Belshazzar during the siege — his death. 29. Surrender and treatment of 
Nabonadius. 30. Revolts of Babylon from Darius. 31. Final decay and 
ruin ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Page 613 



1. Outline of the PbjBical Geography — Contrast of the plain and the highlands. 
2. Division of the plain — Syrian or Arabian Desert — Great Mesopotamian 
valley. 3. Features of the mountain region — Parallel chains — Salt lakes. 
4. Great plateau of Iran. 5. Mountains enclosing the plateau — Zagros — 
Elburz — Southern or coast chain — Hala and Suliman ranges. 6. Low 
countries outside the plateau : (i.) Southern — (ii.) Northern — (iii.) 
Eastern. 7. River-syetem of Western Asia: (i.) Continental rivers — 
Syhun — Jyhun — Helmend, &c. — Kur — Aras — Sefid-Rud — Aji-Su — JaghetUf 
Ac. — Barada — Jordan — (ii.) Oceanic rivers — Euphrates — Tigris — their 


afflaents, yiz. Greater Zdb, Lesser Zab, Diyalehf Kerkhah, and Kuran — 
Indus — Affluents of Indus, Sutl^j Chenab, &o. — Rion — Litcmy and Orontes. 

8. Changes in the Physical Geography : (i.) in the low country east of the 
Caspian — (ii.) in the valley of the Indus — (iii.) in Lower Mesopotamia. 

9. Political Geography — Countries of the Mesopotamian plain: (i.) As- 
Syria — position and boandariee — Districts — Adiabdn^, ko, — (ii.) Sosiana 
or Elymais — (iii.) Babylonia — Position — Districts — Chaldsea, Ac. — (iv.) 
Mesopotamia Proper. 10. Countries of the mountain region: (i.) Ar. 
menia — Divisions — (ii.) Media — (iii.) Persia Proper — Panetacdn^ Mar- 
dydn^, Ac. — (iv.) Lesser mountain countries — Gordiaea — Uxia, Ac. 11. 
Countries west of the Mesopotamian plain : (i.) Arabia — (ii.) Syria — 
Divisions — Commag6n^, Ccele- Syria, Palestine — (iii.) Phcenioia — Cities. 
12. Conclusion ... ... ... ... ... ... Page 549 



. General character of the Mythology. 2. Babylonian and Assyrian Pantheons 
not identical. 3. Thirteen chief deities : (i.) Asshutf the supreme Gt>d of 
Assyria — the Asshur of Genesis — his emblem the winged circle. — (ii.) AnUf 
first God of the First Triad — his resemblance to Dis or Hades — his temples 
— gods connected with him. — (iii.) BeUNinvrod (P), second God of the Triad 
— ^his wife, Mylitta or Beltis — his right to the name of Nimrod — ^his titles, 
temples, Ac. — (iv.) Ifea, third Gk)d of the Triad — his correspondence with 
Neptune — his titles — extent of his worship. — (v.) Bilta (Beltis), the Great 
Goddess — confusion between her and Uhtar — her titles, temples, Ac. — (vi.) 
Gods of the Second Triad — Vul (or PhuV) — uncertainty about his name^ 
Lord of the sky or air — an old god in Babylonia — his numerical symbol. — 
(vii.) Shamas or San, the Sun-Gk)d — his titles — antiquity of his worship in 
Babylonia — associated with QvXa, the Sun-Goddess — their emblems on the 
monuments. — (viii.) £ftn, the Moon- God — his titles —his temple at Ur — his 
high rank, at the head of the Second Triad. — (iz.*) Ninip or Mn, his various 
titles and emblems — his stellar character doubtful — the Man-Bull his 
emblem — his name of Bar or Bar-shem — Ntn, the Assyiian Hercules — his 
temples — his relationship to BBl-Nimrod — Beltis both his mother and his 
wife — his names Banil and Sanda, — (x.) BeLMerodach — his worship ori- 
ginally Babylonian — his temple in Babylon called that of Jayiter.Belus — 
his wife, Zirhawitj or Suocoth-Benoth. — (xi.) Nergal — ^his titles — ^his con- 
nection with Nin — his special worship at Cutha — his sym^JL the Man-Lion 
— ^his temples, Ao.~ (xii.) Ishta/r or Astarte— called Nana m" Baby Ion — her 
worship. — (xiii.) Nebo— his temples — the God of Learning — ^his name, Tir, 
Ac. 4. Other gods besides the thirteen — Allata, Bel-Zirpu, Ac. 5. Vast 
number of local deities ... ... ... ... ... 605 




1. Intermixture of races in Western Asia. 2. Earliest population Turanian. 
3. Development of Hamitism and Semitism. 4. Indo-European family. 
5. Turanian races : (i.) Farthians — (ii.) Asiatic Ethiopians — (iii.) Colchians 
^-(iv.) Sapeiri — {v.) Moeohi and Tibareni — (vi.) Early Armenians — (vii.) 
Cappadocians— (viii.) Susianians — (ix.) Chaldaeans — (x.) Nations probably 
Turanian. 6. Semitic races : (i.) Cilioians — (ii.) Soljmi — (iii.) Lydians not 
Semitic — (iv.) Cappadocians and Himyaritio Arabs not Semitio~(r.) Other 
Semitic races. 7. Division of the Semitic races into groups : (a) Eastern, 
or Assyro- Babylonian £nn>np — (b) Western, or Hebrseo-Phcenician group — 
(c) Central, or Arabian group. 8. Sm^U extent of Semitism. 9. Late 
appearance of the Indo-Europeans, historically. 10. Spread of the race 
from Armenia, threefold. 11. Northern migration, into Europe^ 12. 
Nations of the Western mig^tion: (i.) Pelasgi — (ii.) Phrygians — (iii.) 
Lydiana — (iv.) Carians — (v.) Mysians — (vi.) Lycians and. Caunians — (vii.) 
Matieni&ns (?). 13. Eastern, or Arian migration. 14. Nations belonging 
to it : (i.) Persians — (ii.) Medes — (iii.) Carmanians — (iv.) Bactrians — (v.) 
Sogdians — (vi.) Arians of Herat — (vii.) Hyrcanians — (viii.) Sagartians — (ix.) 
Chorasmians — (x.) Sarangians — (xi.) Gandarians, &c. 15. Tabular view 

Pago 667 


Note A- On the various titles of Jupiter— [G. W.] ... ... ... 706 

Note B. On the Invention of Coining, and the earliest specimens of Coined 

Money ... ... ... ... ... ... 709 


Page 337, note ®, line 8, /or ** r^^d vyofiiv " read " t^v dwaur^." 
„ 344, line 19, for " Hayls " read " Halys." 
„ 373, coL v., Une 8, for •* 615 " read *' 608." 
„ 373, col. v., line 10, M " 610 " read " 603." 
„ 373, col. v., line 17, /or " to " read *« of." 
„ 374, § 2, line 7, M " Nicae " read ** Nicaea." 

( xviii ) 


Bun of Herodotius ... ... ... ... ... Tofacepagel 

Hapof Westem Asia ... ... ... ... At the end of the Volume. 


Coin of Tarentnm, Anon on the Dolphin ... ... ... ... 160 

Sepulchral Chamber in the Barrow of Aljattes ... ... ... 219 

Groond-plan, showing ezcaTations ... ... ... ... ... 219 

Plan of mins at Takhti.Suleiman (the northern Ecbatana) ... 227 

The Birs-Nimmd, or great Temple of Borsippa ... ... ... 228 

Assyrian emblem of the winged circle ... ... ... ... 256 

Egyptian head-dress ... ... ... ... ... ... 256 

Persian head.dress at Persepolis ... ... ... ... 256 

PignreofMyUtta, the "Great Goddess" ... ... ... ... 257 

Median and Persian figores from Persepolis ... ... ... 261 

Chart of the coast abont Miletns in ancient times ... ... ... 268 

Chart of the same coast at the present day ... ... ... 269 

Plan of Cnidns and chart of the adjoining coast ... ... ... 270 

Bireme from the palace of Sennacherib ... ... ... ... 275 

Plan of the Temple of Apollo at Branchidso ... ... ... ... 279 

Greek warrior with shield ... ... ... ... ... 290 

Lycian coin showing the Triqnetra ... ... ... ... ... 296 

Indian hound, from a Babylonian Tablet ... ... ... 814 

Hand-swipe, from a slab of Sennacherib ... ... ... ... 315 

Kufa, or wicker boat in use on the Euphrates ... ... ... 318 

Costumes of the Babylonians from the Cylinders ... ... ... 319 

Babylonian Cylinder and seal-impression ... ... ... 320 

Babylonian Coffin and lid ... ... ... ... ... ... 322 

Tomb in Lower Chaldsea ... ... ... ... ... 323 

Ditto ditto ... ... ... ... ... ... 324 

Tomb of Cyrus at Murg-Aub ... ... ... ... ... 324 

Obverse of an early Lydian coin ... ... ... ... ... 713 

Lydian and other coins ... ... ... ... 713,714 


^ To face p. 1 

ON THB \^ 




Impossibility of writing a complete life of Herodotna. His time, as determined 
from his History. Date of his birth, as fixed hj ancient writers, B.C. 48 i. 
His birth-place — Halicamassns. His parents, Lyxes and Rhoeo — their means 
and station. A branch of his family settled in Chios, probably. His edaca. 
tion, and acquaintance with Greek literature. His travels, their extent and 
completeness. Their probable date and starting-point. Circumstances of 
his life, according to Suidas and other writers. Political adventures — ^their 
trath questioned. Residence at Samoa — doubtful. Removal to Athens. 
Recitation of his work there. Reward assigfned him. Alleged recitations 
in other Greek cities. The pretended recitation at Olympia. Thupydides 
and Herodotus. Herodotus and Sophocles. Men of note whom Herodotus 
would meet at Athens. Reasons for his leaving it. Colonisation of 
Thurium. Men of note among the early colonists. The History of 
Herodotus retouched, but not originally composed, at Thurium. Some 
large portions may have been written there ; and his History of As83rria. 
State of Thurium during his residence. Time and place of his death. 
Herodotus probably unmarried : his heir Flesirrhoiis. His great work left 
unfinished at his decease. 

A RECENT writer has truly observed, that to attempt a complete 
or eomiected life of Herodotus from the insufficient stock of 
materials at our disposal, is merely to indulge the imagination, 
and to construct in lieu of history '' a pleasant form of bio- 
graphical romance." ^ The data are so few — they rest upon 
such late and slight authority ; they are so improbable or so 
contradictory, that to compile them into a biography is like 
building a house of cards, which the first breath of criticism 

* See Colonel Mure's Critical His- 
tory of the Language and Literature 
of Greece, vol. iv. p. 243. The romance 

VOL. I, 

has since been written, in two volumes, 
by Mr. Wheeler. 



will blow to the ground. Still certain points may be ap- 
proximately fixed ; and the interest attaching to the person 
of our author is such, that all would feel the present work 
incomplete, if it omitted to bring together the few facts which 
may be gathered, either from the writings of Herodotus him- 
self or from other authorities of weight, concerning the indi- 
vidual history of the man with whose productions we are about 
to be engaged. The subjoined sketch is therefore given, not as 
suflScient to satisfy the curiosity concerning the author which 
the work of Herodotus naturally excites, but as preferable to 
absolute silence upon a subject of so much interest. 

The time at which Herodotus lived and wrote may be deter- 
mined within certain limits from his History. On the one 
hand it appears that he conversed with at least one person 
who had been an eye-witness of some of the great events of 
the Persian war;* on the other, that he outlived the com- 
mencement of the Peloponnesian struggle, and was acquainted 
with several circumstances which happened in the earlier 
portion of it.® He must therefore have flourished in the fifth 
century B.C., and must have written portions of his History at 
least as late as b.c. 430.* His birth would thus fall naturally 
into the earlier portion of the century, and he would have 
belonged to the generation which came next in succession to 
that of the conquerors of Salamis.^ 

• See Book ix. oh. 16. 

' He mentions the Peloponnesian 
war hj name in two places (yii. 1 37, 
iz. 73), and notices distinctly the fol- 
lowing events in it : — 

1. The attack on Plataea by the The- 

bans, with which it commenced 
(vii. 233). 

2. The betrayal of Nicolaiis and 

Aneristns, the Spartan ambas- 
sadors, and of Aristeas, the Cor. 
inthian, into the hands of the 
Athenians by Sitalces (vii. 137). 

3. The ravaging of Attica by the 

Peloponnesians in one of the 

earlier years of the war (ix. 73) . 

He may also covertly allado to the war 

in the following places: v. 93, and 

vi. 98. 

* Herodotus mentions one or two 
events which may have occnrred about 
B.C. 425, as the desertion of Zopyms, 
son of Megabyzus, to the Athenians 
(iii. 160) ; and a cruel deed committed 
by Amestris in her old age (vii. 114). 
He also speaks in one place (vi. 98) of 
the reign of Artaxerxos, who died B.C. 
425, apparently as if it was over. He 
may therefore have given touches to 
his History as late as B.C. 424. The 
passages which have been imagined to 
point to a still later date (i. 130, iii. 15, 
and ix. 73) have been misunderstood 
or misapplied. Their true meaning is 
considered in the footnotes upon them. 

^ Many incidental notices confirm 
this. Herodotus conversed in Sparta 
with a certain Archias, a grandson of 



These conclusions, drawn from the writings of Herodotus 
himself, are in close accordance with those more minute and 
definite statements which the earliest and best authorities 
make with regard to the exact time at which he was bom. 
Dionysius of Halicamassus, who as an antiquarian of great 
research and a fellow-countryman of our author, is entitled to 
be heard with special attention on such a point, tells us that 
his birth took place " a little before the Persian war." ^ Pam- 
phila, the only ancient writer who ventures to fix the exact 
year of his nativity, confirms Dionysius, and makes a state- 
ment from which it would appear that the birth of Herodotus 
preceded the invasion of Xerxes by four years.^ The value of 
this testimony has been called in question ; but even those 
who do not regard it as authoritative admit, that it may well 
be adopted as in harmony with all that is known upon the 
subject, and ''at least a near approximation to the truth." ^ 
It may be concluded therefore that Herodotus was born in or 
about the year b.c. 484. 

Concerning the birth-place of the historian no reasonable 
doubt has ever been entertained either in ancient or modem 
times. The Pseudo-Plutarch indeed, in the tract wherein he 
has raked together every charge that malice and folly com- 
bined could contrive against our author, intimates a suspicion 
that he had falsely claimed the honour of having Halicamassus 

an Archias who feU in Samoa about 
B.C. 525 (iii. 55). He was also ac- 
qaainte<l with anteward of Ariapoitbes, 
tbe Scythian king, who was a con- 
temporary of Sitalces, the ally of 
Atbens in the year B.C. 430. lie 
trayelled in Egjpt later than" B.C. 462 
(iii. 12). 

• Judicinm de Tbucjd. (c. 5, toI. yi. 
p. 820). The words used are — 'Hp6- 
toros y€v6fifyos 6\iytp irpArtpov r&y 

7 Ap. Aul. Gell. Noct. Attic, xv. 23. 
" Hellanicus initio belli Peloponncsiaci 
foisse quinquc ef sexaginta annos natus 
Tidetur ; Herodotus tres et quimiua- 
ginia ; Thncydidcsquadi'afrinta." (See 
Hiillcr, Fragm. Hist. Gr. vol. iii. p. 

See Mure, p. 2Si. Pamphila 
seems spoken of somewhat too slight- 
ingly when she is called " an Obscure 
female writer i,t the Roman period." 
The frequent quotation of her writings 
by Aulus Gellius and Diogenes Laer- 
tius is a proof that she was far from 
obscure. Photius, too, whoso exten- 
sive reading adds a yaluc to his 
criticism, speaks favourably of her 
work, and es}M?cially as containing 
" several necessarj' points of historical 
information." (t«k iaropiKuif oifK 6Klya 
kvayKaia, Bibl. Cod. 175, p. 389.) 
That Pamphila was u careful and labo- 
rious student of history seems certain 
from her havimr made an Epitome 
of Ctesias (see Suidas). 


Lips and 

for his birth-place.® But Plutarch himself is a witness 
against the writer who has filched his name/ and his testi- 
mony is confirmed by Dionysius,* by Strabo,® by Lucian,* and 
by Suidas.* The testimony of Herodotus, which would of 
itself be conclusive were it certain, is rendered doubtful by the 
quotation of Aristotle, which substitutes at the commencement 
of the History the word "Thurian" for "Halicamassian."* 
Apart, however, from this, the all but universal testimony of 
ancient writers, the harmony of their witness with the atten- 
tion given to Halicamassus and its affairs in the History, and 
the epitaph which appears to have been engraved upon the 
historian's tomb at Thurium,^ form a body of proof the weight 
of which is irresistible. 

Of the parents and family of Herodotus but little can be 
said to be known. We are here reduced almost entirely to 
the authority of Suidas, a learned but not very careful 
compiler of the eleventh century, to whose unconfirmed asser- 
tions the least possible weight must be considered to attach. 
He tells us in the brief sketch which he has left of our author, 
that he was born of *' illustrious ** parents® in the city of Hali- 
camassus, his father's name being Lyxes, and his mother's, 
Dryo, or Rhoeo ; ® that he had a brother Theodore ; and that 
he was cousin or nephew of Panyasis, the epic poet. To the 
last of these statements very Uttle credit is due, since Suidas 
confesses that his authorities were not agreed through which 
of the parents of Herodotus the connexion was to be traced,^® 

• Do Malign. Herod, vol. ii. p. 8(58 a. 
The writers who, like Dnria (Fr. 57), 
ADd the Emperor Julian (ap. Suid.), 
simply call Herodotus " a Thnrian,'' 
need not mean to question his Halicar- 
nassian origin. 

1 De Exilio, ii. p. 604 p. 

• Jud. do Thucyd. 1. s. c. 

» xiv. p. 939. ' * Vol. iv. p. 116. 
'^ S. V. 'HpS^oTos. 

• Bbct. iii. 9. See note ^ to Book i. 
ch. i. 

^ The opitaph, which is given both 
by Stephen (ad yoc.Soipios) and by the 
Scholiast on Aristophanes (Nub. 331), 

did not indeed mention Halicamasflus, 
but implied it by speakinjy of the 
hiHtorian as " sprung from a Dorian 
land " — AwpUoty irdrprfs fiXatrrSvr* 4iro, 

^ 'Hp($8oTOS, A^^ou Ko) ApuoSs, 'AAiKop- 
vacTfffvs^ rS>v iiripavunf, km iScA^^y 
iffxVK^s StSiwpoy. Suidas ad voo. 

• See Suidas ad voc. Uai^vaffis. 

^" Some said that the father of Pany- 
asis, whom they called Polyarchus, 
was brother to Lyxes, the father of 
Herodotus; others that Rhoeo, our 
author's mother, was tho epic poet's 
sister. (Suid. 1. s. c.) 



and the temptation to create such a relationship must have 
been great to the writers of fictitious letters and biographies 
under the empire. But the name of his father is confirmed 
by the epitaph preserved in Stephen,^ and the station of his 
parents by the indications of wealth which the high education 
of our author, and his abundant means for frequent and 
distant travel, manifestly furnish. The other statements of 
Soidas acquire, by their connexion with these, some degree of 
credibiUty ; and the very obscurity and unimportance of the 
names may induce us to accept them as real, since no motive 
can be assigned for their invention. Herodotus may there- 
fore be regarded as the son of Lyxes and Ehoeo,* persons of 
good means and station in the city of Halicamassus. That 
he had a brother Theodore is also probable. 

It has been thought that Herodotus must have had rela- 
tions of rank and^ importance settled in the island of Chios.® 
In speaking of an embassy sent by a portion of the Chians to 
the Greeks about the time of the battle of Salamis, he 
mentions, without any apparent necessity, and with special 
emphasis, a single name — that of a certain ** Herodotus, the 
son of Basileides." * This man, it is supposed, must have 
been a relative, whom family affection or family pride induced 
the historian to commemorate ; and if so, it is certain from 
his position as one of the cliiefs of a conspiracy, and after- 
wards as ambassador from his countrymen, that he must 
have been a personage of distinction — a conclusion which 
is confirmed by the way in which Herodotus introduces 

* The epitaph, which Brunck has 
placed in the third volume of his Ana- 
lecta (Epig. 533, p. 263), consists of 
four lines of elegiac verse, and runs as 
follows : — 

'Upoiorop AvfcM KpMrrci s^ir fid« 0/iv6rr<»f 

*laiot apx<>'>tf ioTop/nt wpvrawtv' 
Aoiuttur warpnf fiXoffrovr* airo, tS»¥ 3p' SirX»rrov 

Mtr^AOir irwenvpo^vymf Oovptov i^xe iraTpriv. 

' It seems certain that the double 
form of the name arises from a corrup- 
, tion of the text of Suldas. Bfthr (Com- 
ment, de VitA et Scriptis Herod. § 2) 

proposes to regard the form Dryo as 
the true one. But since Dryo is an 
unknown name, whereas Rhoeo be- 
longed certainly to the mythic history 
of the neighbourhood (see ApoU. 
Bhod. ap. Parthen. Erot. c. 1), the 
latter has clearly the better claim to 
be preferred. 

• Colonel Mure accidentally says 
" Samos " for Chios, and speaks of 
Herodotus the son of Basileidos as a 
Samian (vol. iv. p. 253). 

^'Berod viii. 132. 


Life and 

his name, as if he were previously not unknown to his 

This is a point, however, of minor consequence, since it is 
not needed to prove what is really important — the wealth and 
consideration of the family to which our author belonged. 

The education of Herodotus is to be judged of from his 
work. No particulars of it have come down to us. Indeed, 
the whole subject of Greek education before the first appear- 
ance of the Sophists is involved in a good deal of obscurity. 
That the three standard branches of instruction recognised 
among the Athenians of the time of Socrates — grammar, 
gymnastic training, and music — were regarded throughout all 
Greece, and from a very early date, as the essential elements 
of a Hberal education is likely enough ; ® but it can scarcely be 
said to have been demonstrated. Herodotus, it may, how- 
ever, be supposed, followed the course common in later times 
— attended the grammar-school where he learnt to read and 
write, frequented the palsestra where he went through the 
exercises, and received instruction from the professional 
harper or flute-player, who conveyed to him the rudiments of 
music. But these things formed a very slight part of that 
education, which was necessary to place a Greek of the upper 
ranks on a level, intellectually, with those who in Athens and 
elsewhere gave the tone to society, and were regarded as 
finished gentlemen. A knowledge of literature, and especially 
of poetry — above all an intimate acquaintance with the classic 
writings of Homer, was the one great requisite;'' to which 

' T£y KoX *Hp6^oTos 6 BauriXtftBtct 
^y. When a new character is intro- 
dnced, o^d Herodotus does not con- 
sider him already known, he commonly 
omits the article. (See vi. 127, where 
none of the suitors of Agarista have 
the article except Hegaclcs, the son 
of Alcm8?on.) 

• Some writers have maintained that 
in Dorian states the first branch 
(ypdnfiara) was wholly, or almost 
wholly, omitted (Miiller, Dorians, vol. 
ii. p. 328, E. T.; Grote's Hist, of 
Greece, vol. ii. p. 526). But Colonel 

Mure has shown that this imputation 
is unfounded (Remarks on two Appen- 
dices to Grote's History, p. 1 et scqq.). 
The three branches are recognized by 
Ephorus as obtaining from an early 
time in Crete (Fr. 64, Muller, vol. i. 
p. 251), and Plato seems to regard 
them as universally agreed upon 
(Alcib. i. p. 106 E ; Amat. p. 132 ; 
Theag. p. 122 ; Protag. pp. 325 e and 
326 a.b). 

'Pee Plat. Bep, Books ii. and iii., 
Protag. 1. 8. c. 



might be added a familiarity with philosophical systems, and 
a certain amount of rhetorical dexterity. Herodotus, as his 
writings show, was most thoroughly accomplished in the first 
and most important of these three things. He has drunk at 
the Homeric cistern till his whole being is impregnated with 
the influence thence derived. In the scheme and plan of his 
work, in the arrangement and order of its parts, in the tone 
and character of the thoughts, in ten thousand little expres- 
sions and words, the Homeric student appears;® and it is 
manifest that the two great poems of ancient Greece are at 
least as familiar to him as Shakspeare to the modem educated 
Englishman. Nor has this intimate knowledge been gained 
by the sacrifice of other reading. There is scarcely a poet of 
any eminence anterior to his day with whose works he has 
not shown himself acquainted. Hesiod, Olen, Musaeus, 
Archilochus, the authors of the Cypria and the Epigoni, 
AlcaBus, Sappho, Solon, ^sop, Aristeas, Simonides of Ceos, 
Phrynichus, ^schylus, Pindar,® are quoted, or referred to, in 
such a way as to indicate that he possessed a close acquaint- 
ance with their writings. Prose composition had but com- 
menced a very short time before the date of his history.^ Yet 

" See Jag^r, Disp. Herod, p. 5 ; i notes ad Zoc. The only poets of 

Bahr, De VitA et Script. Herod. § 3 ; 1 eminence anterior to his time, with 

More, Tol. iv. pp. 515-6, and especially i whom Herodotus does not show any 

the Talnable collection of passages in acqnaintancei are Callinus of Ephesns, 

his Appendix, pp. 551-2. Dahlmann 
has, curiously enough, omitted this 

» Hesiod, ii. 63, ir. 32; Olen, iv. 85; 

TyrtsBus, Simonides of Arnolds, Ste- 
sichorus, Epimenides, and Epichar- 
mus. He notices Anacroon (iii. 121) 
and Lasus of Hermion^ (vii. 6), but 

Musseus, vii. 6, viii. 96, ix. 43 ; Archi- j without any mention of their writings, 

lochns, i. 12 ; the author of the Cypria, | Expressions like that at the beginning 

ii. 117 (compare i. 155) ; of the i of vi. 52 (Aaicc8aifi({«'(oi oiAoXoyipyrts 

Epigoni, iv. 32 j Alcaens, v. 95; | ohZtvX voirirf) indicate the confi- 

Sappho, ii. 135 ; Solon, v. 113 ; ^sop, i dence which he feels in his complete 

iL 134 ; Aristeas, iv. i3 ; Simonides, ' acquaintance at least with all the 

V. 102, vii. 228 ; Phrynichus, vi. 21 ; j cyclic and genealogical poets. (Com- 

^schylus, ii. 156; Pindar, iii. 38. , pare ii. 53 and 120.) 

Note also the quotations from less I * With Pherecydes of Syros (ab. 

well-known poets, as Bacis, viii. 20, j B.C. 550), according to the common 

77, 96, ix. 43, and Lysistratus, viii. tradition ; but at any rate not earlier 

96. With regard to the passages sup- | than the beginning of the sixth ceu- 

posed to be plagiarisms from Sopho- i tury. (See Mure, vol. iv. p. 61.) 

ciea (i. 32, ii. 35, and iii. 119), see | 



even here we find an acquaintance indicated with a number of 
writers, seldom distinctly named, but the contents of whose 
works are well known and familiarly dealt with.^ HecatsBUS 
especially, who must be considered as his special predecessor 
in the literary commonwealth, is quoted openly, or tacitly 
glanced at in several passages ; ^ and it may be questioned 
whether there was a single work of importance in the whole 
range of Greek literature accessible to him, with the contents 
of which he was not fairly acquainted. 

Such an amount of literary knowledge implies a prolonged 
and careful self-education, and is the more remarkable in the 
case of one whose active and inquisitive turn of mind seems 
to have led him at an early age to engage in travels, the 
extent of which, combined with their leisurely character, 
dearly shows that a long term of years must have been so 
occupied. The quantum of travel has indeed been generally 
exaggerated ; * but after every deduction is made that judicious 
criticism suggests as proper, there still remains, in the dis- 
tance between the extreme limits reached, and in the fulness 
of the information gained, unmistakable evidence of a vast 
amount of time spent in the occupation. Herodotus un- 

• Seo the following paBsages : — ii. 
15, 16, 20, 22, and vi. 55. 

• Openly, ii. 113, andvi. 137 ; tacitly, 
ii. 21, 23, 'and iv. 36. 

^ It is no doubt difficult to draw a 
distinct line between the manner of 
speaking which shows Herodotus to 
have seen what he describes, and that 
which merely ndicates that he had 
heard what he relates from professed 
eye-witnesses. Most writers on the 
subject have accepted as proof of the 
presence of Herodotus on the spot a 
mention of anything as " continuing 
to his time." Hence it has been sup- 
posed that he visited Camicus in 
Sicily (Dahlmann, p. 40, E. T. ; Heyse 
de Herod. Vit. et I tin. p. 139 ; Bdhr, 
vol. iv. p. 397) ; and by some that ho 
reached Bactria (Mure, iv. p. 247 ; 
Jilger, Disput. Herod, p. 20). But 

the expression relied on does not in 
itself imply presence, and no writer 
has ventured to regard it in this light 
in every place where it occurs. It has 
never been supposed, for instance, 
that Herodotus reached the banks of 
the Oarus, and saw the forts, said to 
have been erected by Darius, '* whose 
ruins were still remaining in his day " 
(iv. 124). Something more then is 
required than this expression. I have 
regarded as necessary to prove pre- 
sence either a distinct assertion to 
that effect, or the mention of some 
little point, which only an eye-witness 
would have noticed, and which one 
who received the account from an 
eye-witness would, even if told, not 
be likely to have remembered, — as the 
position of Ladice's statue in the 
temple of Venus at CyrOue (ii. 181). 



doubtedly visited Babylon,' Ardericca near Susa,* the remoter 
parts of Egypt,^ Scythia,® Colchis,* Thrace,^® Cyrene," 
Zante,** Dodona,^ and Magna Graecia ;" — thus covering with 
his travels a space of thirty-one degrees of longitude (above 
1700 miles) from east to west, and of twenty-four of latitude 
(1660 miles) from north to south. Within these limits, more- 
over, his knowledge is for the most part close and accurate. 
He has not merely paid a hasty visit to the countries, but has 
examined them leisurely, and is familiar with their scenery, 
their cities small and large, their various wonders, their 
temples and other buildings, and with the manners and 
customs of their inhabitants. The fulness and minuteness of 
his information is even more remarkable than its wide range, 
though it has attracted less observation. In Egypt, for 
instance, he has not contented himself with a single voyage 
up and down the Nile, like the modem tourist, but has 
evidently passed months, if not years, in examining the 
various objects of interest. He has personally inspected, 
besides the great capital cities of Thebes, Memphis, and Heli- 
opolis, where his materials for the history of Eg}'pt were chiefly 
collected,^ the comparatively unimportant towns of Sais,^' 
Bubastis," Buto," Papremis,^® Chemmis,** Crocodilopolis,^ 
and Elephantine." He has explored the lake Mceris,^ the 
labyrinth,** the line of the canal leading into the Arabian Gulf 
from the Nile,*^ the borders of.Egj'pt towards the Sinaitic 
desert,* and portions of the tract, which he calls Arabia, 
between the valley of the Nile and the Arabian Gulf or Red 
Sea.*' He is completely familiar with the various branches 
into which the Nile divides before reaching the sea,^ and with 
the course followed by the traveller at differenj; seasons.® He 
knows intimately the entire broad region of the Delta,^ as 

» i. 181^. « ri. 119. ' ii. 29. 

> iv. 81. » ii. lai. w iv. 90. 

" u. 181. " iv. 196. " ii. 52. 

M ir. 16, V. 46. " u. 3. 

w ii. 28, 180, 169, Ao. 
" ii. 137. " u. 76, 165. 

i» iii. 12. *» ii. 91. 

« ii. 148. " ii. 29. 

" ii. 149. ^ ii. 148. 

«» ii. 158, 159. *• iii. 5, 12. 

*7 ii. 75 J comp. 8 and 12. «* n 17. 
» ii. 97. »<^ ii. 5, 15, 92-98, &o. 



well as the extreme limits of Egypt beyond it, both eastward ^ 
and westward.^ Again, in Asia Minor, his native country, he 
knows well, besides Caria,® where he was born, Lydia, with its 
rich plains* and great capital city, Sardis;^ Mysia,® the 
Troas,'' the cities upon the Hellespont,® Proconnesus,* 
Cyzicus,^® the mouth of the Thracian Bosphorus,^ the north 
coast ;^^ and again, on the south, CiUcia, with its two regions, 
the flat,^® and the mountainous ; ^* Lycia,^*^ Caunus,^^ Ephesus," 
the mouths of the Mteander, Scamander, and Caystrus 
rivers,^^ and something of the interior, at least along the line 
of the royal road from Sardis to Susa,^^ which he most pro- 
bably followed in his journey to and from Babylon. In Greece 
Proper he has visited, besides the great cities of Athens,** 
Sparta,^^ and Thebes,** the sanctuaries at Delphi,^ Dodona,^ 
and Ab8B in Phocis;^ the battle-fields of ThermopylaB,* 
Platffia,^ and Marathon;^ Arcadia,^ Elis,** Argolis,^^ the 
promontory of Taenarum,^ the isthmus of Corinth,® the pass 
of Tempe,^ Creston in Chalcidice,^ Byzantium,^ Athos,*^ and 
(apparently) the entire route followed by the army of Xerxes 
on its march from Sestos to Athens.^ In the Levant he has 
evidently made himself acquainted with almost all the 

1 ii. 6. iii. 5. s ii. 6, 18. 

» i. 171, 172, 174, 175, &c. * i. 80. 

» i. 80, 84, 93, &c, « vij. 42. 

7 ii. 10, vii. 43. 8 I 57. 

» iv. 14. 10 Ibid. » iv. 86. 

" Ibid. Comp.i. 76, ii. 104, Ac. On 
hia visit to Colchis, Herodotus would 
necessarily pass alonj^ the whole of 
this coast. Ho appears to have pr^no 
ashore occasionally — at the month of 
the Parthcnius, ii. 104 j at Themiscjra, 
iv. 86. 

18 vi. 95. 1* ii. 34. " i. 176. 

w i. 172. 17 i. 92, ii. 10, Ac. 

M ii. 10. 

'• The description of the route (v. 52) 
appears to me that of an eye-witness. 
If Herodotus visited Babylon, which I 
regard as certain, ho would naturally 
follow it as far as the cross-road which 
led from Agbatana to that city, issuing 
undoubtedly from Mount Zagros by 
the pass of Holwan. The Greeks of 

his time sometimes reached Babylon 
by crossing from the Mo'diterraneeui 
to the Euphrates, and then descending 
the river in a boat (i. 185), but Hero- 
dotus does not appear to have taken 
this route. 

» V. 77. 21 iii. 55. n i. 52. 

« i. 14, 19, 25, 50, Ac. "ii. 52. 

" viii. 27, *• viii. 198-200, 

218, 225, Ac. 

«- ix. 15, 19, 25, 51, Ac. 

Wvi. 102, 111,112. 

» i. 66, vi. 74, 127. 

^ iv. 30, vii. 170. 

« i. 24. 3» viii. 121. 

" i. 57. *» iv. 87. 

^ This appears from the manner of 
his doscripticms, as well as from their 
general fidelity. It has been perceived 
b.v almost all the commentators (Bahr, 
iv. p. 396 ; Dahlmann, p. 43 ; Mure, 
iv. p. 246, Ac). 

« vi. 77. 
** vii. 129. 
«^ vii. 22. 

Wmtwos, travels in SAMOS, RHODES, CYPJIUS, ETC. 


more important islands. With Samos he is completely 
familiar;^ and he has visited besides, Rhodes,* Cyprus,® 
Delos,* Paros,* Thasos,® Samothrace,^ and probably Crete,® 
Cythera,' and Egina.^® Elsewhere his travels have, no doubt, 
less of this character of completeness. He knows little more of 
Scythia than its coast between the mouths of the Danube and 
Dnieper; he has not penetrated very far into Thrace; his 
knowledge of Syria and Phoenicia may have been gained 
from once or twice coasting along their shores ; " east of the 
Halys his observations are confined to a single route; in 
Africa, setting aside Egypt, he shows no personal acquaint- 
ance with any place but Cyrene ; and west of Greece, he can 
only be proved to have visited the cities of Crotona, Thurii, 
and Metapontum." 

It is not possible to determine absolutely the questions, 
which have been mooted, concerning the time when, and the 
centre, or centres, from which these travels were undertaken. 
An opinion, however, has been already expressed that they 
were commenced at an early age. The vigoiu: and freshness 
of youth is the time when travel is best enjoyed and most easily 
accomplished; and the only hints derivable from Herodotus 
himself concerning the date of any of his journeys, are in 
accordance with the notion, that at least the more distant and 
important of them belong to his earlier rather than his later 
years. If anything is certain with respect to the events of 

J ii. 182, iii. 47, 64, 60, 142, iv. 88, 
152, ri. 14, Ac. « ii. 182, iii. 47. 

»T. 114. * ii. 170, vi. 98. 

»Ti. 134. «ii. 44. 'ii. 51. 

» iii. 59. • i. 105, i» v. 83, 88. 

" Landinpr of conrse from time to 
time, M at Tyre (ii. 44), at the Nahr 
el Kelb (ii. 106), and perhaps at Gaza 
or Cadj-tie (iii. 5). 

** Heree is the writer who has ex- 
agfrerated mopt jrrorely the extent of 
our author's travels. He regards him 
M hariog visited not only Agbatana 
(which is a common opinion), but 
Acanumia and ^tolia, the niyrian 
ApoUonia, the Yeneti, Thera, Siphnns, 

Knboea, Sicyon, and most parts of 
Sicily (pee his inanjjrural dissertation 
' De Herodoti VitA et Itincribns,* 
Berlin, 1827). The grounds which he 
deems sufficient are often absurdly 
slight. Bahr adopts Heyse's views, 
except where they are most extra- 
vagant (vol. iv. pp. 391-7). Dahl- 
mnnn is somewhat more moderate. 
Col. Mnre's summary (vol.iv. pp. 246.8) 
is judicious, though pcanty. The only 
points in it from which I should dis- 
sent, are the statements that Ilero- 
dotus " penetrated to Ecbatana," and 
" possibly to parts of Bactria" (p. 247). 



tiin AND 

our author's career, it is that his home during the first half of 
his life was in Asia Minor, during the last in Magna GrsBcia. 
Now, the slightest glance at the map will show that the former 
place, and not the latter, Halicamassus (or possibly Samos), 
and not Thurium, is the natural centre whence his various 
lines of travel radiate. One of the most curious facts patent 
upon the face of his history is the absence of any personal 
acquaintance, or indeed of any exact knowledge, of upper 
Italy, Sardinia, Sicily, Carthage — ^the countries most acces- 
sible to a traveller whose starting-point was Thurium. It 
seems as if, on taking up his residence at that town in about 
his fortieth year, the enterprising traveller had subsided into 
the quiet student and recluse writer.^ To descend to par- 
ticulars, it is clear that his visit to Egypt,* with which some 
of his other journeys are necessarily connected,® took place 
after the revolt of Inarus (b.c. 460) ; for he states that he saw 
the skulls of those who were slain in the great battle of 
Papremis by which Inarus established himself;* and yet it 
could not have been long after, or he would scarcely have 
been received with so much cordiality, and allowed such free 
access to the Egyptian temples and records. There is every 
reason to conclude that his visit fell within the period — six 
years, from b.c. 460 to b.o. 455, inclusively — during which the 
Athenian armies were in possession of the country,^ when 
gratitude to their deliverers would have led the Egyptians to 
receive any Greek who visited them with open arms, and to 
treat him with a friendliness and familiarity very unlike their 

^ It is not meant that he did not 
write before this time, or travel after 
it ; bat that after he came to Thnrinm 
he travelled very little, probably only 
in Magna Grsecia, and once to Athens, 
occupying himself almost entirely in 

• Col. More supposes (vol. iv. p. 247) 
that he may have visited Egypt re- 
peatedly. but of this there is no trace 
in the History. Bather the perpetual 
use of the aorist tense {iKBi^y — irpa- 
v6u'riVf ii. 3 ; «8<6k, ii. 12 ; iZvviffOnv — 

iytySfxfiy, ii. 19 ; iXOdfVy ii. 29 ; ct pas- 
sim) gives the contrary impression. 

* Those to Tyre and Thasos, which 
he undertook in order to investigate 
the age of Hercules (ii. 44). 

< iii. 12. 

* Thucyd. i. 109 : iKpirovv tijj At-y^- 
wTou 'AOi^KoToi. There is one pa8sa>,'e, 
however (iii. 91), which may seem to 
imply that his visit to Egypt was after 
the Persian authority ha[d been re- 




ordinary jealousy of foreigners. His Egyptian travels would 
thus faU between his twenty-fourth and his twenty-ninth year, 
occupying perhaps nearly the whole of that period ; while his 
journeys to Tyre and Thasos would follow shortly after. A 
single touch in the Scythian researches indicates a period but 
little removed from this for the visit of our author to Scythia. 
He speaks of having gathered certain facts from the mouth of 
Timnes, "the steward of Ariapeithes."® This expression 
indicates that Ariapeithes was then living. But if Ariapeithes 
immediately succeeded Idanthyrsus, as is probable,^ he can 
scarcely have outlived b.c. 450, sixty years at least from the 
accession of his predecessor. Probably therefore Herodotus 
was in Scythia before that date. 

We may now consider briefly the few facts which have come 
down to us, on better or worse authority, with regard to the 
vicissitudes of our author's life. Suidas relates ^ that he was 
forced to fly from Halicamassus to Samos by the tyranny of 
Lygdamis, the grandson of Artemisia, who had put his uncle 
(or cousin) Panyasis to death ; that in Samos he adopted the 
Ionic dialect, and wrote his History; that after a time he 
returned and took the lead in an insurrection whereby 
Halicamassus obtained her freedom, and Lygdamig was 
driven out ; that then, finding himself disliked by the other 
citizens, he quitted his country, and joined in the Athenian 
colonisation of Thurium, at which place he died and was 
buried. Of these statements the only ones confirmed by other 
writers are the removal of our author to Thurium at the time 
of its first settlement or soon afterwards, and his death and 
burial at the same place. The former is a point on which all 
are fully agreed ; ® but the latter is much controverted.^ 

With regard to the political episode, which, if true, would 
be the most notable adventure in our author's whole career, 
the slender authority of Suidas cannot be held to establish it 

• IT. 76. 

' 8e© note to Book iv. ch. 80. 

• Sob TOO. 'Hp69oros, 

' See Strab. xiv. p. 939 ; Flat, de 

Exil. ii. p. 604 p. ; Steph. Byz. ad 
voc. eo6pioi; Plin. H. N. xii. 4; 
Schol. Aristoph. Nub. 331. 
1 Vide infr^, p. 31. 



Lin AKD 

against the absolute silence on so remarkable a matter of all 
former writers. Undoubtedly it may be true, but this is the 
utmost that can be said in its favour. Probability leans 
decidedly the other way. If Herodotus had been a tyrannicide, 
it is very unlikely that no orator or panegyrist should ever 
have noticed the fact. If he had lived on terms of such 
deadly hostility with the royal family of his native town, it is 
scarcely to be imagined that he would have expressed himself 
quite so warmly* towards the chief glory of that family, 
Artemisia. The tale seems blunderingly contrived to account 
for certain circumstances connected with our author which 
were thought to require explanation, namely, why he wrote in 
the Ionic dialect; why he treated at such disproportionate 
length of the affairs of Samos ; ® why he spoke so strongly on 
the advantages of constitutional over despotic government;* 
and why he quitted his native land and retired to Thurium. 
The foundation for the tale was found in the last line of his 
epitaph, and, possibly, in the facts of Halicamassian history ; 
but the epitaph was misconstrued, and the history garbled by 
the intrusion into it without warrant of our author's name. 
We may gather from the epitaph, which may well be received 
as genuine,* that no political motive caused his retirement 
from Halicamassus, but that he fled from ridicule^ — ridicule 
drawn down, it may be conjectured, by the over-credulous tone 
of his History, which would Httle suit the rising generation of 
shrewd and practical free-thinkers. The transfer of residence 
to Samos is most likely a fiction. It is not required to 
account for his adoption of the Ionic dialect, since that was 

• See eepeoially Book rii. oh. 99, 
and Book riii. chs. 87 and 101. 

» Book iii. chs. 39-59, 120-128, 139- 

< T. 66, 78. 

" By " gennine ** I do not mean con- 
temporary. The expression, *\dZos 
&px<^^V itrroplris irptJroj'tK, would not 
naturally have been used for some 
time after the death of Herodotus. 
But I should suppose the verses to 
have been actually infioribed upon his 

tomb within one or two generations 
of his death, while the traditions 
respecting his change of abode were 
still fresh in men's memories. 

^ Mufios (which is the word used in 
the epitaph) is not more "ill-will," 
"dislike," or "envy," but distincfly 
" ridicule." It is a rare word in the 
early writers, and would not have 
been used where fi4fA)pu suited the 
verse equally well, unless intended in 
its peculiar signification. 


the form of language already consecrated to prose compo- 
sition;^ and if he wrote at all he could not fail to nse the 
character of speech which the prose writers of his day had one 
and all preferred as best adapted to their branch of literature. 
Neitlier is it implied in anything which he himself says of the 
island; for his acquaintance with its buildings and localities 
is not greater than might have been acquired by one or two 
leisurely visits, and the length at which he treats the history 
may be accounted for on moral grounds.^ 

Herodotus probably continued to reside at Halicamassus, 
taking long journeys for the purpose of historical and geo- 
graphical inquiry, till towards the year b.c. 447, when, being 
about thirty-seven years of age, and having brought his work 
to a certain degree of completeness, though one far short of 
that which it reached finally, he removed to Greece Proper, 
and took up his abode at Athens. Halicamassus, it would 
appear, had shortly before cast off her tyrants and joined the 
Athenian confederacy,' so that the young author would be 
welcomed for his country's sake no less than for his own. 
Athens had just begun to decline from the zenith of her 
prosperity. After having been for ten years sole mistress of 
central Greece from the isthmus of Corinth to the borders of 
Thessaly, she had, not without certain preliminary disasters, 
received at Coronea a blow, which at once reduced her to her 
former limits, and threatened to have yet more serious conse- 
quences. The year b.c. 446 was one of gloom and sad 
expectation. Revolt threatened from various quarters, and in 
the ensuing spring the five years' truce would expire, and a 
Peloponnesian invasion might be expected. It was in this 
year, if we may believe Eusebius,^ that a decree passed the 
Athenian assembly, whereby a reward was assigned to Hero- 

* ^ See Hnre's Literature of Greece, 1 Lyj^damis'a overthrow, bocanfle we 
▼ol. iv. p. 114. question the pni*t apsipTied to Hero- 

' Vide intrk, ch. iii. p. 92. dotns in tho transaction. 

» See Dahlmann's Life of Herodotus, ^ Chron. Can. Pai-s ii. p. 339; 01. 

ch. L § 8. We are not obliged to 83. 4. 
reject either the fact or the date of | 



Lire AND 

dotus on account of his great historical work, which he had 
read publicly to the Athenians.* The Pseudo-Plutarch,® though 
himself discrediting the story, adds some further particulars, 
which he quotes from Dyillus, an Athenian historian of good 
repute towards the end of the fourth century b.c. This writer 
declared that the decree on the occasion was moved by Anytus, 
and that the sum voted as a gift was ten talents (above 


According to the common report, it was not at Athens alone 
that Herodotus made his work known by recitation. He is 
represented by some writers as a sort of prose rhapsodist 
travelling from place to place, and offering to each state at a 
price a niche in the temple of Fame. The Pseudo-Plutarch 
brings him to Thebes,* and Dio Chrysostom to Corinth,* in 
this capacity; but the latter tale is apparently unknown to 
the great collector of slanders. It is scarcely necessary to 
observe that these calumnious fictions, invented by those whose 
self-love was wounded by our author's candour, deserve no 
manner of credit. It is certainly not impossible that Herodotus 
may have recited his work at other places besides Athens ; but 
there is no evidence that he did so. His work was not one to 
gain him reward or good-will generally ; and Thebes, a place 
fixed upon by the Pseudo-Plutarch, was one of the last where 
he could expect to be received with favour. 

In addition to these tales there has come down to us a 
circumstantial account of another and more important recital, 
which Herodotus is supposed to have made before collected 
Greece at the great Olympian festival. This story, which has 
attracted more, attention than it merits, rests upon the two 
low authorities of Lucian and Suidas.® It is full of incon- 

• The reading may have been, as 
Scalijjer (ad Enscb.) enggosted, a 
single SQstained recitation at the 
great Panathenaic festival ; bnt I 
Bhould rather sappose a series of more 
private exhibitions. 

' Do Milign. Herod, ii. p. 862 a. 

* De Jdalign. Herod, ii. p. 864 d. 

B Orat. xxxvii. p. 456. MarceUinus 

Vit. Tlincyd. p. x.) has evidently 
heard the same story. 

* Lucian, who lived six centories 
after Herodotus, and is the first writer 
that mentions the OIym])ian rocita. 
tion, was a free-thinking rhetorician 
and philosopher, very ignorant of 
history, and quite above feeling any 
scrapie about perverting or inventing 




sistencies and improbabilities,^ was unknown to the earlier 
writers,® and is even contradicted by another version of the 
matter which obtained sufficient currency to give rise to a 
proverb. According to an ancient grammarian, men who 
failed to accomplish their designs were likened in ordinary 
speech to "Herodotus and his shade; " the explanation being 
that Herodotus had wished to recite his History at Oljmpia, 
but had delayed from day to day in hopes of a cloudy sky, till 
the assembly dispersed without his having effected his purpose.' 
This version of the story has at once more internal pro- 
bability and more external support than the other, for the 
proverb must certainly have been in common use ; but it may 
well be doubted whether Herodotus can ever have seriously 
contemplated such an exhibition, for the whole tone of the 
work — ^its candour, its calmness, its unsparing exposure of the 
weakness, pettiness, and want of patriotism generally prevalent 
through Greece at the time of the Persian war — unfitted it 
for recitation before a mixed audience, like that at Olympia, 
composed of Greeks gathered from all quarters. The reasons 
which render improbable a recitation at Thebes or Corinth, 
tell with tenfold force against an Olympian reading, which 
might have pleased the Athenians, Eginetans, and Platseans 
present, but would have infinitely disgusted all the other 
With the pretended recitation at Olympia is usually^ con- 

it. His disregard of troth has been 
oopiooaly exhibited hy Dahlmann (Life 
of Herodotus ch. ii. § 4). His piece 
entitled ' Action or Herodotos ' was 
written for a Macedonian aadienoei 
not likely to be very critical, on whom 
he might expect to palm easily a tale 
so tamed as to involve a compliment 
both to them and to their city. (See 
its conclnsion, voL iv. p. 123, ed. 

' Heriidotas is represented as coming 
straight from Caria to Olympia, with his 
Nine Muses all complete, as deter- 
mining not to recite at Athens or 
anywhere else bat at the Great Games, 
as reading his entire history at a 

VOL. I. 

stretch to the whole assemblage, and 
as carrying off ananimoas applause ! 

* As Pliny and the Pseado-Plutarch, 
who both make statements incom. 
patible with Lacian's story : Pliny, 
that the work was first corajHJsed at 
Thariam ; the Pseado-Platarch, that 
its whole object was detraction, and 
that it was written not to gain fame, 
bat to gratify a malignant spirit. 

* In Montfaacon's Bibliotheo. Coisl. 
Cod clxxvii. p. 609, as I learn from a 
note of Col. Mure's (vol. iv. p. 261). 

* By Saidas (sab voo. BovkuHI^tis), 
Photias (Bibliotbec. Cod. Ix. ad fin. p. 
59), and Tzetzes (Chil. i. 19). 




neoted another story, which need not, however, be discarded 
with it, since it has an independent basis. Olorus, with his 
young son Thucydides, is represented as present on the 
occasion, and the latter is said to have been moved to tears by 
the recital. Herodotus, remarking it, turned to Olorus, who 
was standing near his son, and said : '* Olorus, thy son's soul 
yearns after knowledge." These details, it is plain, suit better 
a private reading to an audience of friends at Athens than a 
public recitation to the vast concourse at Olympia, where the 
emotion of an individual would scarcely have attracted notice. 
And it is remarkable that Marcellinus, who seems to be the 
original source from which later writers drew,* neither fixes 
the scene of the event at Olympia, nor says anything of the 
age of Thucydides. The anecdote may, therefore, without 
violence be transferred to the time when Herodotus was making 
his work known at Athens ; and we may accept it, so far at 
least as to believe that Thucydides, then about twenty-four 
years of age,® became acquainted with our author through his 
recitations at that place, and derived from that circumstance 
the impulse which led him to turn his own thoughts to his- 
torical composition. 

It is probable that Herodotus about the same time made the 
acquaintance of the poet Sophocles. Six years later it seems 
certain that the great tragedian wrote a poem in his honour, 
the opening words of which have been preserved by Plutarch ;* 
and three years before he wrote it Herodotus had quitted 
Athens for Thurium. The acquaintance is thus almost neces- 
sarily determined to the space between b.c. 447, when Hero- 
dotus seems to have transferred his abode to Athens, and b.c. 
448, when he removed to Italy. Sophocles was then at the 

• The date of Maroellinua is tincer- 
tain, bat from his style and from the 
author he quotes, I shoald inch'ne to 
regard him as anterior to Photins. 
Saidas copies Photins, with improve- 
ments ; Photins, I think, drew from 

' If we accept the statement of 
Pamphila (Frag. 7). 

^ See his treatise, "An seni gerenda 
sit respnblica ? "—Op., vol. ii. p. 785 B. 
The words quoted are : 

Il« irT* Iwt ir€*rrt;KO¥Ta' 

As Sophocles was bom in the year B.C. 
495, the poem most have been written 
B.C. 440. 




zenith of his reputation. He had gained his first tragic prize 
twenty-one years earlier, in b.o. 468 ; and for ten years, since 
the death of ^s^hylus, had been ahnost without a rival. A 
little later than the departure of Herodotus for Thurium he 
exhibited his tragedy of the Antigone,* in which a thought 
occurs which seems borrowed from our author;® and almost 
immediately afterwards he held the highest office in the state, 
being chosen Strategus together with Pericles in the year of 
the Samian expedition (b.c. 440). 

If, then, an intimacy sprang up at this date between the 
poet and the historian, we may conclude that the latter was 
introduced during his stay at Athens to that remarkable galaxy 
of intellectual lights which was then assembled in that city. 
The stately Pericles, his clever rival Thucydides, the son of 
Melesias, the fascinating Aspasia, the haughty and eloquent 
Antipho, the scientific musician Damon, the divine Phidias, 
Protagoras the subtle disputant, Zeno the inventor of logic, 
the jovial yet bitter Cratinus, the gay Crates, Euripides, the 
master of pathos, Sophocles, the most classic even of the 
ancients, with a host of minor worthies, formed a combination ^ 
which even at Athens was rarely, if ever, equalled. The rank 
of Herodotus in his own country was perhaps enough to give 
him free access to the highest society which Athens could 
furnish; but if not, as the friend of Sophocles and Olorus,® 
men of the most exalted position, he would be readily received 
into the first circles. Here, then, he would be brought into 
contact with the most cultivated minds, the highest intellects 

• Probably in B.C. 441, as his election 
to the office of Strat^gas in the follow- 
ing year was considered to have been 
the consequence of the admiration 
which the play excited. (Aristoph. 
Byzant. ad Soph. Ant. praef.) 

• See note to Herod, iii. 119. 

^ Aoaxagoras left Athens in B.C. 450 
(Diog. Laert. ii. 7), before I snppose 
tiie Tisit of Herodotus to have com. 
Bienced. He returned some years 
afterwards, but it is uncertain wl en. 
Gorgias may have been in Athens 
during our author's stay, at least if 

he really conversed with Periclea. 
(Philostrat. Vit. Sophist, i. ix. § 1.) 
Ion of Chios, the tragedian Achseus, 
Euphorion the son of -^schyluB, 
St^^Rimbrotns the biographer, the 
architect Hippodamna, and the artists 
Alcamenes, Agomcritus, Callimachus, 
Callicrates, Ictinas, Mnesicles, would 
be among the lesser Inminariee of the 
time and scene. Socrates was grown 
up, bat perhaps scarcely known. 

* The anecdote concerning Thucy- 
dides implies that Olorus was abreadj 
known to Herodotus. 




of his age. In Asia Minor he had perhaps known Panyasis, 
the epic poet (his relative, according to Suidas) ; Melissus the 
philosopher, who defended Samos against Pericles ; Choerilus,® 
who sang of the Persian war; and possibly Hellanicus, 
Charon, Xanthus Lydus, and Damastes; but these were in 
no case minds of the first order, and they were scattered 
among the Asiatic cities from Halicamassus to Lampsacus. 
At Athens he would for the first time find congregated an 
intellectual world, and see genius of the highest kind in all its 
shapes and aspects. The effect would be like that which the 
young American author experiences when he comes with good 
introductions to London. He would feel that here was the 
real heart of the Hellenic body, — the true centre, at least, of 
literary Hellas, — ^the world whose taste he must consult, 
whose approval was fame, whose censure was condenmation, 
whose contempt was oblivion. He would find his spirit 
roused, and his whole nature braced, to strain every nerve, in 
order to maintain his place in the literary phalanx which had 
admitted him into its ranks. He would see imperfections in 
his work unobserved before, and would resolve to make it, so 
far as his powers went, perfect. He would look at the master- 
pieces in every kind which surrounded him, and say, "My 
work, too, shall be in its kind a masterpiece." To this 
perhaps we owe the wonderful elaboration, carried on for 
twenty years after his visit to Athens, which, as much as 
anything else, has given to the History of Herodotus its sur- 
passing and never-failing charm. 

It is not difficult to imagine the reasons which may have 
induced our author, in spite of the fascinations of its society, 
to quit Athens, and become a settler in one of her colonial 
d^endencies. At Athens he could have no citizenship ; ^ 
and to the Greek not bent on money-making, or absorbed in 

* Snidae ad yoo. XoipiXos. 

> In later timefl the citizenship was 
granted lavishly, not only to foreigners 
Sat to freedmen. (Andoc. de Red. 
o. 22, p. 8^ 80 ; Demosth. o. Aristoor., 

&o.) Bot the difficalty of obtaining it 
was far greater in the time of Peri- 
cles. And the tronble and expense 
(Denoeth. o. Nenr. p. 1849, 20) wonld 
deter many. 




philosophy, to be without political rights, to have no share in 
what formed the daily life and occupied the constant thoughts 
of all around him, was intolerable. " Man is not a man unless 
he is a citizen," said Aristotle ;* and the feeling thus expressed 
was common to the Greek nation. Besides, Athens, like every 
capital, was an expensive place to live in; and the wealth 
which had made a figure at HaUcamassus would, even if it 
were not dissipated, have scarcely given a living there. The 
acceptance by Herodotus of a sum of money from the Athe- 
nian people would seem to indicate that his means were now 
low. They m«y have been exhausted by the cost of his long 
journeys, or have suffered from his leaving HaUcamassus. At 
any rate his circumstances may well have been such as to 
lead him gladly to embrace the invitation which Athens now 
offered to adventurers from all parts of Greece, whereby he 
would acquire at her hands a parcel of land (kX^/oov), which 
would place him above want, and a new right of citizenship. 
Accordingly, in the year b.c. 443, when he had just passed his 
fortieth year, Herodotus, according to the unanimous testi- 
mony of ancient writers,® joined the colonists whom Pericles 
was now sending out to Italy, and became one of the first 
settlers at Thurium. 

The settlement was made under circumstances which were 
somewhat peculiar. Sybaris, one of the Achflean colonies in 
Magna Grsecia, after attaining to an unexampled pitch of 
prosperity,* had been taken and destroyed by the Crotoniats 
(B.C. 510). The inhabitants who escaped fled to Laiis and 
Scidrus,* places previously belonging to them, and made no 
effort to recover their former home. But fifty-eight years 
afterwards (b.c. 452) their children and grandchildren, having 
obtained some foreign assistance, reoccupied the site of the 

« Pol. i. 1. 

> See Strabo, xiy. p. 939. Plutarch 
de BxU. vol. u. p. 604, F. Plin. H. N. 
xii. 4. Suidas ad yoc. 'Hp6ioros, &c, 

* Strabo says that four of the Italian 
nations were subject to Sybaris ; that 
she ruled over twenty .five ciUes, and 

brought into the field against Crotona 
300,000 men (vi. p. 378). Scymnus 
Chins gives the number of her full 
citizens as 100,000 (ver. 344). Die. 
doms agrees with Strabo (xii. 9). 
» See Herod, vi. 21. 



Lips and 

old city, which soon rose from its ruins. Upon this the 
jealousy of Grotona was once more aroused, and again she 
took arms and expelled the Sybarites from their town. They 
did not however now submit, but sent ambassadors into 
Greece to beg for assistance against their enemies. Pericles 
received the envoys with warmth, procured a decree of the 
people in their favour, and sent out the colony in which 
Herodotus participated. It was composed of Greeks from all 
quarters, and placed under the direction of a certain Lampon, 
who was thought to possess prophetic powers.^ The new 
colonists were to unite with the old Sybarites, and a single 
city was to be built, in which all were to enjoy equal rights 
and privileges. The colony left Athens in the spring of b.c. 
448,^ and established itself without any opposition from the 
Crotoniats. A town was built near, but not on, the site of 
the ancient Sybaris, and was called Thurium, from a spring 
in the neighbourhood; it seems to have been planned by 
Hippodamus, the architect of the Piraeus, who laid it out in 
a number of straight streets, with others crossing them at 
right angles, a style of building which afterwards went by 
his name.^ It was scarcely finished when dissensions broke 
out between the new-comers and the ancient Sybarites, the 
latter of whom are accused of advancing absurd claims to a 
pre-eminence over the foreign colonists. An appeal was made 
to arms, with a result most disastrous to those whose arro- 
gance had provoked it. The Sybarites were worsted, and, if 
we may believe Diodorus, well-nigh exterminated;* and the 
victorious foreigners, having strengthened themselves by 

• Sohol. Arietoph. Ay. 521 ; Pint, 
▼it. Periol. o. 6 ; Polit. Pneoed. rol. ii. 
p. 812, D. ; Suid. ad too. ^vpioftdrrus, 
I>iodoni8 (zii. 10) makes Lampon and 
Xenocritns joint leaders. 

' Diodorus places its establishment 
in the year B.C. 446 (xii. 9). The date 
commonly giYea is B.C. 444 ; but 
Clinton has shown satisfactorily that 
the colony was really sent ont in the 
spring of B.C. 443. (F. H. vol. ii. 
p. 58, 01. 84. 2). 

•Of. Ariat. PoL vii 10; Hesyoh. 

Lex. in too. 'Iwiroddfuw r4ft7i<rtSj and 
Photios, Ac{. Svycry. p. 111. For the 
a|iplication of the style to Thurium, 
see Diod. Sic. zii. 10, ad fin. 

• Diod. Sic. xii. 11. Aristotle in 
his brief notice (Pol. v. 2, 2vfiap7rai — 

xApas i^4ir§cow) agrees, except that he 
speaks of expulsion rather than exter- 
mination. DiLdcme allows that a oer- 
tain number escaped (xii. 22, sub fin.). 
These are perhaps the Sybarites of 
whom Herodotus speaks (y. 44). 




receiving fresh immigrants, proceeded to order their polity on 
a plan copied apparently from the arrangements which pre- 
vailed at Athens. They divided themselves into ten tribes^ 
named from the principal races of which the colony was 
composed,^ and while modelling in all probability their 
pohtical institutions on the Athenian type, adopted for the 
standard of their jurisprudence the legal code of Gharondas.' 
Under these circumstances they became rapidly a flourishing 
people, until in the year b.c. 412, after the failure of the 
Sicilian expedition, they revolted from their mother city, and 
expelled all the Athenian colonists.® 

Among the settlers who accompanied Herodotus from Athens 
are some names to which a special interest attaches. Hip- 
podamus, the philosopher and the architect of the PirsBus,^ 
Lysias the orator, then only in his fifteenth year, with his 
brother Polemarchus,*^ the friend of Socrates,* are the most 
famous. The last two were sons of Gephalus, a native of 
Syracuse, whom Pericles had persuaded to settle at Athens,^ 
the gentle old man in whose house Plato has laid the scene 
of his great dialogue, the Republic. It is not impossible that 
Protagoras may have been, if not among the first settlers, 
yet among the early visitants ; for some accounts made the 

' The tribes were as follows : three 
Peloponnesian, namcMl Areas, Achats, 
Elea ; three from central Greece, 
Bawtia, AmphictyoDis, Doris ; and 
foor from Athens and her depend, 
encies, las, Athenats, Enbceis, Nesiotis. 
An organisation of this kind, proceed- 
ing npon ethnic difference, was more 
oommon in Dorian than in Ionian 
states. (See Herod, iv. 161, and ▼. 68.) 

* Diodoros (1. s. c.) imagines that 
Charundas actoally legislated for the 
Thnrians, being one of the citizens : 
rhp Smotw rhw (L rAw) iv waiHei^ 
9a»pttti6iAMP09 (1. $avfut(ofUwwr) toXi- 
rmw XapMitof. So the Scholiast on 
Plato (p 11^, Rnhnk ), and Valerius 
Kaximns (vi. 6, § 4). Bat he was 
really a native of Catana, and lived 
two cencnries earlier. (See Hermann's 
PoL Antiq. of Greece, § S9.) The 
Thnrians ooilj adopted his code, as did 

so many of the Italiot and Sicelioi 
towns (Arist. Pol. ii. 9 ; Heraclid. 
Pont, rxv.), and even the remote city 
of Maxaca in Cappadocia (Strab. xii. 
p. 782). 

' Dionys. Hal. Lys. snb init. vol. v. 
p. 453, ed. Reiake ; Plutarch, vit. X. 
Orat. § 8. (Op. ii. p 835, D.) 

^ See Photius and Hesychins, ad 
voce. 'IwwoUdfioif y4firi<ris, and 'I«yo- 
iofifta irypd. For his philosophy, 
Bee Aristotle (Pol. ii. 5) and StobsBns 
(Florilegium. vol. iii. p. 338, T. 103, 
26). Photius calls Hippodamus "a 

» Plutarch, vit. X. Orat. 0- »• c ) ; 
Phot. BibL Cod. 262, p. 1463. Diony- 
sius (1. 8. c.) makes him accompanied 
by two of his brothers. 

* Plat. Rep. book i. § l.» et seqq. 

' Bo Lysias himself declares (Orat. 
c. Eratosth. p. 120, 26). 




Thurians derive their laws from him.® Empedocles, too, the 
philosopher of Agrigentum, is stated by a contemporary writer* 
to have visited Thurium very shortly after its foundation^ and 
it is not unlikely that he made it his abode until his death. 
Thus the new colony had its fair share of the intellect of 
Greece ; and Herodotus would not be without some kindred 
spirits to admire and appreciate him. 

At Thulium Herodotus would seem to have devoted himself 
almost entirely to the elaboration of his work. It has been 
asserted in ancient ^ and strongly argued in modem ^ times, 
that his history was there first composed and published. But 
the assertion, as it stands, is absurd;® and the arguments 
adduced in support of it are not such as to command assent. 
It is proved that there are portions of the work which seem 
written in sQuthem Italy,* and that there are others which 
could not have been composed till long after the time when 
Herodotus is said to have settled at Thurium.* But those 

' Heraclid. Pont. ap. Diog. Laert. 
ix. 50. 

* Glancus of Bheginm (Fra|2^. 6), 
reported by ApoUodorns (Fr. 87). The 
anoDjmoas life of Thucydides, nsnally 
prefixed to his work, speaks ^of that 

iter as having been at TItfoam — 
lich is called Sybaris — between its 
fonh^ion and B.C. 422. Bnt this 
afMlMI^ is of yery little weight. 
Other celebrities among the early 
Thurians are Tisias, the Syracnsan, 
the inventor of rhetoric (Phot. Bibl. 
loo. s. cit. ; Cio. de Invent, ii. 2, &c.), 
and Cleandridas, the father of Gylip. 
pns (Thncyd. vi. 104; Antioch. 
Fr. 12). 

» Plin. H. N. xii. " Urbis nostwe 
treoentesimo decimo anno . . . aactor 
flle (Herodotns) historiam earn oon- 
didit Thnriis in Itali&." 

* See Dahlmann's Life of Herodotns, 
oh. iii. § 2. 

> Since it makes Herodotns write 
his whole history in one year. 

* As iv. 15, and 99, and vi. 127. 
Dahlmann adds iii. 186-8, and y. 44.5 ; 
bnt these passages may jnst as well 
baye been written in Asia. It is ad- 

mitted that Herodotns "may have 
comprehended Italy in the plan of his 
early travels," so that ''accurate 
knowledge " of the localities sapi>OB- 
ing that it appeared (which may be 
questioned), would not prove the pas- 
sages to have been wri xun in Italy. 

^ The following are the only pas- 
sages of which this can be said with 
any certainty : iii. 160, ad fin. ; v. 77, 
ad fin. ; yii. 114, ad fin. ; 133-7, and 
233, ad fin. ; and iz. 73, ad fin. Dahl- 
mann would add iy. 80, whore Sitalces 
is mentioned as a man ilready knovm ; 
y. 93, where Hippias is made to speak 
of the calamities which the Corinthians 
would suffer at the han la of Athens ; 
vi. 98, where he thinks the reign of 
Artazerxes is spoken of cu past; 
vii. 151, where there is a reference 
to the embassy of Callias : iii. 15, 
where Am3rrt8Bns is spoken of as dead ; 
and i. 130, where there is a mention of 
a Median revolt, which he supposes to 
be that from Darius Nothus. With 
reg^ard to the last two passages he is 
completely mistaken, as will be shown 
in the notes ad loc. The others are 
doubtful. Sitalces, who gradually 



who urge these places as conclusive omit to remark that from 
their parenthetic character they are exactly such passages as 
a writer employed for many years in finishing and retouching 
his composition might conveniently have added to the originsJ 
text. That this is in every case the appearance they present, 
a glance at the passages themselves wiU show.^ They can 
always be omitted not only without detriment, but sometimes 
with manifest advantage, to the sense and conifexion of the 
sentences.^ This fact is a strong indication that they are no 
part of the original work, but insertions made by the author 
as points bearing upon his history came to his knowledge. 
Dahlmann indeed rejects altogether the notion of two editions 
of Herodotus, because no ancient writer is found expressly to 
mention them;® but it seems to be the view which best 
explains all the phenomena.® In the book itself, besides the 
indication already mentioned, which is almost tantamount to 
a proof, there are various passages which, either singly or in 
connexion with those clearly written in Italy, imply the 
existence of two forms of the work, an earlier and a later one, 
and from two of these passages we may even gather that the 
work was published in its earlier shape. The enumeration of 
the Ionian and ^oUan cities in the first book is such as would 
be natural to a man writing at HaUcamassus, but not to an 
inhabitant of Italy .^ The same may be said of the enumera- 

bnilt np a great power (Di9<i. Sio. xii. 
50), maj have been well known to the 
Greeks long before the breaking out 
of the Peloponneeian war. Corinth 
had Buffered considerably at the hands 
of Athens by B.C. 457 (see Thuoyd. 
i. 105.6). In Ti. 9S, it is not neoes- 
Barily implied that the reign of Arta- 
zerxes is past. And the embassy of 
Callias was not in B.C. 481, bnt in 
B.C. 449. (See note ad he.) 

* In iii. 160, the parenthetic portion 
is firom Ztfw^pov ih rovrov to the end. 
In ▼. 77, from hirovs 8^ iro2 ro^r^gp to 
the end of the inscription. In yii. 114, 
from Htp^ruchw to Korop^trtrovaap, In 
yii. 133-7, from 8 n 9h roitn 'ABviyaiourt 
to iwdt^fifu Si M rhw vp^tpov kSjow, 
In Yii. 293, from rov rhw vcuSa to the 

end. And in ix. 73, from o5rc0 fitrrc to 

7 This i8 moRt striking in the last- 
mentioned pasBiigo, where the nesus 
is pecnliarly awkward. 

8 Life of Herodotus, page 34, E. T. 

• It is allowed to some extent by 
Colonel More. (Lit. of Greece, vol. iv. 
p. 268.) 

^ Herodotus not only takes the 
Ionian cities in regular order from 
south to north (i. 142), but proceeds 
from them to the southern .^k>lian8 
(ch. 149), and from them to the 
^olians of the Troas (ch. 151). 
Looking at Asia Minor from the west, 
a Greek, accustomed to coasting 
Yoyages, would have followed the 
reverse order. 



Lira AKD 

tion of the Satrapies.* Again, the description of the road 
between Olympia and Athens,® as that which led "from 
Athens to Pisa," and not '* from Pisa to Athens," is indicative 
of one who dwells east and not west of Greece. Moreover, 
the declaration in the fourth book — ** additions are what my 
work always, from the very first affected " ^ — is only intelligible 
on the hypothesis above adopted. And, finally, we have in 
two passages a plain proof, not only of two periods and places 
of composition, but likewise of a double publication. In 
describing the first expedition of Mardonius against Greece, 
Herodotus turns aside from his narrative to remark that at 
this pcjint he **has a marvel to relate, which will greatly 
surprise those Greeks who cannot believe that Otanes advised 
the seven conspirators to make Persia a commonwealth ; " * 
whereby he shows that, on the first publication of his work, 
the account given in the third book of a debate among the 
conspirators as to the proper form of government to establish 
in Persia, had provoked criticism, and that many had rejected 
it as incredible. He therefore seeks to remove their scruples 
by noticing a fact, which in his first edition he had probably 
omitted, as not very important, and quite unconnected with 
his main subject in the place (which is the warlike expedition 
of Mardonius), namely, that Mardonius at this time put down 
the Greek despots. He also in the third book, on beginning 
his narrative of the debate, makes a reference to the same 
objectors, which he does in a few words, inserted probably in 
lieu of what he had at first written.* Such is the evidence of 
the book itself; and we may add to it the fact that, while 
some writers spoke confidently of the work as composed in 

• Cf . Hi. 90. Herodotus begins with 
the satrapy which contained Ionia 
ftnd Caria; a Enro|>ean Gn^k wonld 
hare oommenoed with the Hellespont. 

•ii. 7. 

^ Gh. 30 TlpoaBriKtu has been gener- 
ally translated " digressions,*' or " epi- 
■odes." But its most proper sense 
ii " additions, supplements." It may 
eTen have this meaning in Arist. Bhet. 

i. 1, § 8 ; a passage which has been 
considered to justify the other render- 
ing. (See Liddell and Scott's Lexi. 
icon, ad yoc. wpoffB^KtiJ) 

• Herod, vi. 48. 
^ * Hcrod. iii. 80. In the fiffst edition 
I should conjecture that the words 
ran : irol iK4x(hifftuf Xiiyoi rotolBt. 
*OT^f f/Aw MAcvc, K,r^ 




Italy ,^ others as distinctly asserted that it was written in 
Asia;® and, further — a fact to be hereafter noticed* — that 
there were from very early times ^ two readings of a most 
important passage in the book, namely, its opening sentence, 
which is best explained by supposing that both proceeded 
equally from the pen of the author. 

It is not unlikely that, besides retouching his narrative 
from time to time, and^ interweaving into it such subsequent 
events as seemed in any way to illustrate its course or tenor, 
Herodotus may have composed at Thurium some considerable 
portions of his work; for instance, the second and fourth 
books, or the greater part of them.* He may likewise have 
considerably enlarged the other books, by the addition of 
those long parentheses which are for ever occurring, whereby 
the general line of the relation is broken in upon, not always 
in a manner that is quite agreeable. It is needless to point 
out passages of this kind which every reader's memory will 
without difficulty supply; they form in general from one- 
fourth to one-third of each book, and added to the second and 
fourth books would amount to not much less than one-half of 
the History. 

At the same time he no doubt composed that separate work 
the existence of which it has been the fashion of late years to 
deny' — his History of Assyria. The grounds for believing 
that this book was written and published will be given in a 
note on the text,* and need not be anticipated here. That it 
was a treatise of some considerable size and pretension is 
probable from the very fact that it was detached from his 

' Riny, L a. o. 

^ Suidas ad voo. *H/»^8oTOf. Lncian. 
Herod, vol iv. p. 116. 
' See note to book i. oh. 1. 

* At least as early as the reign of 
Trajan. See Plataroh. de £xil. 
(p. ti04, F.) : T^ S4 'Hpia6rov 'AXutap- 
vwrffiws iaroplris ii,w69€i^is ^8c, woAXol 
furaypdipouirw, 'Hpoi6rou Bovpiov, 

* The whole of the aeoond book, 
with the exception of the first chapter, 
may haTO been composed at this time, 

the opening of the third book being 
remodelled after the second was 
written. In the fourth book, the 
acooont of the expedition of Darins 
(chs. 1-4; 83.1f4) may have been 
original, and the rest added at ( 

* See Dahlmann's Life of Herodotus, 
pp. 166-8 £. T. ; Bahr, Not. ad Herod, 
i. 106 ; Mure, Lit. of Ureece, vol. iy. 
p. 270. 

« See note to book L ch. 106. 



LiPK AlirD 

main history, and published separately.* It must, one would 
think, at least have exceeded in bulk the account of Egypt, 
which occupies the whole of the second book, or it would 
naturally have formed an episode to the main narrative, in 
the place where we instinctively look for it,* and where its 
omission causes a want of harmony in the general plan of the 
History. And it may have been very considerably longer 
than the Egyptian section. With these literary labours in 
hand, it is no wonder if Herodotus, having reached the period 
of middle life, when the fatigues of travel begin to be more 
sensibly felt, and being moreover entangled in somewhat 
difficult domestic politics, laid aside his wandering habits, 
and was contented to remain at Thurium without even explor- 
ing to any great extent the countries to which his new 
position gave him an easy access.^ There is no trace of his 
having journeyed further during these years than the 
neiglibouring towns of Metapontum and Crotona, except in a 
single instance. He must have paid a visit to Athens at 
least as late as b.c. 436, and probably some years later ; for 
he saw the magnificent Propylsea,® one of the greatest of the 
constructions of Pericles, which was not commenced till B.C. 

■ It has been questioned whether 
the Assyrian History was ever in- 
tended for a separate work, and sng- 
gestod that it may have been meant 
only for one of the larger episodes in 
which our author ¥ras wont to indulge. 
(See Dahlmann, p. 168 ; Bahr, 1. s. c. ; 
Mure, p. 271.) But if so, where was 
it to have come in ? Bahr (following 
Jager, Disp. Ucrod. p. 229) suggests 
for its place the end of the third book, 
where the revolt and reduction of 
Babylon are related But this is con- 
trary to the analogy of all the other 
lengthy episodes, and to the pervading 
idea of the work. The right by which 
Buch ejiisodes come in at all, is their 
connexion with the increasing great- 
ness of the Persian empire ; and they 
therefore occur at the point whore the 
Persian empire first absorbs or 
attempts to abgorb each country. 

(See i. 95, 142, 171, 178 ; ii. 2 ; iii. 
20; iv. 5; V. 3.) In the only two 
places where the Assyrian History 
could properly have come into the 
extant work of Herodotus — the absorp. 
tion of Assyria by Media, and of 
Babylonia by Persia — the reader is 
referred to the AssjTrian History for 
information. To me this is conclusive 
evidence that it was always intended 
to have been (as indeed I believe that 
in fact it was) a separate work. 

* The natural place, according to 
the notions of Assyrian history enter- 
tained by our author, would have been 
book i. ch. 184, where he is forced 
to speak of certain persons who doubt- 
less figured in it conspicuously. He 
did not make any distinction between 
Assyrian and Babylonian history. 

' Supra, p. 11. 

• Herod, v. 77. 




436, nor finished till five years afterwards.' Perhaps this 
visit was delayed tiU after the breaking oat of the Felopon- 
nesian war, and it may have been by its means that Hero- 
dotus became so intimately acquainted with little events 
belonging to the first and second years of the war,^ of which 
it is unlikely that more than vague rumours would have 
reached him at Thurium. 

The state of Thurium, while it was the abode of Herodotus, 
appears to have been one of perpetual trouble and disquiet. 
The first years after the foundation of the colony were spent, 
as has been already shown,* in a bloody feud between the 
new-comers and the ancient inhabitants — the Sybarites. 
Soon afterwards a war broke out between the Thurians and 
the people of Tarentum, which was carried on both by land and 
sea, with varied success, and which probably continued during 
a space of several years.^ A little later, as the Peloponnesian 
struggle approached, an internal dispute seems to have arisen 
among the citizens themselves as to the side which they 
should espouse in the approaching contest.^ The true con- 
troversy was thinly veiled under the show of a doubt about 
the person and state entitled to be regarded as the real 
founders of the city. From the first the Peloponnesian 
element in the population had been considerable, and now 
this section of the inhabitants put forward pretensions to the 

* Hftrpocrat .ad. yoc. Tlpow6Keua rovra. 
Philoch. Ft. 98. 

* As, 1. the attack upon Theben (vii. 
233), whore he knows the number of 
the assailants, the important part 
taken by Eorymachns, and his fate 
(compare Thacjd. ii. 2, and 5, ad fin.) ; 
2.. the betrajal of the Peloponnesian 
ambassadors to the Athenians by 
Sitaloes (vii. 137), where he has the 
oames of three, the place where they 
were seised, and the fact of their 
being brooght to Athens for punish- 
ment : with an allusion also to the 
cauffe of the exasperation of the 
Atbeniaaii against them (hs «Tac oAi/os 
T«^f im Ti^vp0ot; oomp. Thnoyd. ii. 
67, ad fin.); and, 8. the Bparing of 

Decelea, when the comitry between 
Brilessns and Fames was ravaged by 
Archidamns (ix. 78 ; the fact is quite 
compatible with the statements of 
Thucydides, ii. 23, though not* men- 
tioned by him). I should incline also 
to assign the flight of Zopyrus (iii. 
160, ad fin.) to the same period (b.c. 
431 or 430). No little events wre re- 
lated of a later dAte, 

• Page 22. 

' Diod. Sic. rii. 28. The description, 
although placed under one year, seems 
applicable to a longer period. (Siairo- 
Ac^vrrcf — iir6p$ouy — T0XA&5 /u^xa* 
Ktd iucpofioXifffioit.) Ck)mpare Antiooh. 
Pr. 12. 

^ n>id. xii. 86. 




first place in the colony. The horrors of civil war were for 
the present avoided by an appeal to the common oracle of 
both races, which skilfully eluded the difficulty, and staved off 
the threatened crisis, by declaring that Apollo himself, and 
none other, was to be accounted the founder. But the 
struggle of parties, in however subdued a form, must have 
continued, and we find marked traces of it about the period of 
the Sicilian expedition, when Thurium first wavers between 
the two belligerents,^ then joins Athens, banishing those who 
oppose the measure,^ and finally, after the Athenian disasters, 
expels three hundred of its citizens for the crime of Atticism, 
and becomes an ally of the opposite side.^ 

It is uncertain whether Herodotus lived to see all these 
vicissitudes. The place and time of his death are matters of 
controversy. Some writers of great eminence have thought it 
plain from his work that he must not only have been alive, 
but have been still engaged in its composition, at least as late 
as his seventy-seventh year.® One tradition even prolongs 
his life to the year b.c. 394,® when his age would have been 
ninety. Of the place of his death three accounts are given ; 
according to one he died at Pella in Macedonia ;^ according to 
another, at Athens;^ while a third placed his decease at 
Thurium.® When the evidence is so conflicting, it is 
impossible that the conclusions drawn from it can be more 
than conjectural. There seems, however, to be great reason 
to doubt whether Herodotus reaUy enjoyed the length of life 
which has been commonly assigned to him. There is no 
passage in his writings of which we can say that it must 


» Thuoyd. yi. 104. 

* Ibid. ▼!!. 83. 

' DionvB. Hal. Lys. iv. p. 453. 

* See Dahlmann's Life of Herodotus, 
eh. iii. § 1} ad fin. ; Mare's Literature 
cf Greece, vol. iv. App. G. ; and Dr. 
Schmitx's article in Smith's Biographi- 
fliJ Dictionarj, toL ii. p. 482. 

* Snidas (ad toc. 'Exxdifums) makes 
BscodotuB Tisit the court oi Amyntas 
JLg ka^ d UmomiUm, who onl/ 

mounted the throne in b.c. 894. (See 
Clinton. P. H. vol. ii. App. ch. 4.) 

J Suidas (ad voc. 'Hpi^os) reports 
this tradition, but expresses his disbe- 
lief of it. 

• Marcellin. in rit. Thuyod. p. ix. 

' This was the riew of' Suidas, who 
Bars : Els rh Bofyiow, iwoiKi(6fuwwif Ow^ 
*A^Mut»r, /0cAorr^5 ^Aflt, ciucci tcAsv> 
ricms M r^s iyopas ridmuu 




cert&inly have been written later than b.c. 4S0.* / There are a 
few which may have been composed aboat b.c. 425 or 424/ 
but none which, rightly understood, give the sUghtest indica- 
tion of any later date.* The work of Herodotus, therefore, 
contains no sign that he outlived his sixtieth year, and 
perhaps it may be said that the balance of evidence is in 
favour of his having died at Thurium when he was about 
sixty .^ His tomb was shown in the market-place of that city ; 
and there probably was the epitaph quoted by ancient writers. 
The story of his having been buried with Thucydides at 
Athens is absurd upon its face. It might suit the romance 
writers to give the two great historians a single tomb; but 
nothing can be more unlikely than such a happy conjunction. 
Thucydides, moreover, was buried in the family burial-place 
of the CimonidaB, where "it was not lawful to inter a 
stranger." ® How then should Herodotus have rested within 
its precincts? unless it be said that he too was of the 
Cimonian family, which no ancient writer asserts. The 


^ It cannot be proyed that any 
eTent recorded by Herodotus is more 
recent than the betrayal of the 
Spartan and Corinthian ambassadors 
into* the hands of the Athenians 
(Herod, rii. 133-7), which took place 
in the antomn of B.o. 430. (Thnoyd. 
ii. 67.) 

^ As the crael deed committed by 
Amestris in her old age (yii. 114), 
which, howerer, cannot be determined 
within a space of 10 or 15 years ; the 
desertion of Zopyms to the Athenians 
(iii. 160, ad fin.), which was toioarda the 
close of the reign of Artazerzes (Ctes. 
Exc. §'43) ; and the'(^pparent mention 
of that reign as past (vi. 98), which 
would be decisive, if it distinctly 
asserted what it is sapposed to imply. 

*The )iassages alleged by Dahl- 
mann (i. 130 ; u\. 15 ; and ix. 73) are 
explained in the notes ad loc. 

^ The negative evidence derived 
from the absence from his great work 
of touches clearly marking a later 
date, is an argnment of great import- 
anoe, when it ia obseryed how frequent 

and continaons snch touches are up to 
a particular period. The complete 
silence with re^^rd to the Sicilian 
expedition, which, if it had i assed 
before his eyes, must have appeared 
to him the most important event of 
his time, seems to show that at least ^ 
he did not outlive B.C. 415. Had he 
witnessed the struggle, he would 
almost certainly have made some 
allusion to it. Had ho seen its closOj 
he could not have uia<le the anscrtion 
in book vii. ch. 170, that a oertaiii 
slaughter of Tarentint^s and Rhegines 
was the greatest which ever befel the 
Greeks. Had ho been still living 
when Thurium joined the Peloponr 
nesian side in B.C. 412, he woald hav^ 
been banished with Lysias, and would 
then probably never have been known 
as " the Thurian." 

® Marco 11 in us proves the family 
connexion of Thucydides with the 
Cimonidsa by the ffict of his tomb 
being amongf the fuHfinTa Kifid^via ( Vit. 
Thacyd. p. ix.) :—^ivos 7^ ow^fif, he 
says, iKft Bdirrrrcu, 




legend of his death at Pella belongs to the very improbable 
tale of his having enjoyed, in company with Hellanieus and 
Euripides,® the hospitality of Amyntas II., king of Maeedon, 
who ascended the throne b.c. 394, when Herodotus would have 
been ninety ! On the whole it seems most probable that the 
historian died at Thurium (shortly after his return from a 
visit paid to Athens in about the year b.c. 430 or 429), at an 
age Uttle, if at all, exceeding sixty.^ He would thus have 
escaped the troubles which afflicted his adopted country 
during the later portion of the Peloponnesian war, and have 
been spared the pain of seeing the state of which he was a 
citizen enrol herself among the enemies of his loved and 
admired Athens. 

No author tells us anything of the domestic life of Hero- 
dotus. If we may be allowed to form a conjecture from this 
silence, it seems fair to suppose that he was unmarried. His 
tH^ IU;.icrtw^ estima te of the female character is not high ;^ and his roving 
j<CC^ c^AvvuA 1 propensities in his earlier days would have interposed a bar 
f^j{^ to matrimony at the time of life when men commonly enter 

^ on it. That he died childless seems to be indicated by the 

. position in which he is made to stand to a certain Plesirrhoiis, 
who is said to have inherited all his property, and to have 
brought out his work after his death.® These statements 
rest, it must be admitted, on authority of the least trust- 

* Snidas ad voo. 'EwdriKos. 

^ It has been ar^ed that the general 
tone and character of onr author's 
work prove him to have composed it 
in old age (Dahlmann, p. 87, E. T. ; 
Jdger, Disp. Herod, p. 16 ; Bahr, de 
Vit. et Script Herod. § 4) , bat Col. 
Hnre jndicionsly remarks that the 
pocaliarities insisted on may "with 
better reason be regarded as reflecting 
the mind of the man than the time of 
life at which he wrote. The author 
of a narrative treating at similar 
length, and in equally popular vein, 
the more interesting vicissitudes of a 
national history, will usually be found," 
he observes, " where the notioes of hm 

life are scanty or fabulous, taking his 
place in the traditions of his country, 
and in the fancy of his readers, as an 
aged man." (Literature of Greece, 
vol. iv. p. 517.) 

• Compare i. 4 and 8 ; ii. Ill, Ao. 

• These particulars are reported by 
HephsBstion (a p. Phot. Bibliothec. Cod. 
190, p. 478), a late writer of small 
authority, who moreover throws dis- 
credit on his own anecdotes by allow- 
ing them to contradict one another. 
The same Plesirrhoiis, who in two of his 
tales is made to be our author's heir 
in another is said to have committed 
snioide while Herodotus was still en- 
gaged upon hiB work. (Ibid. p. 483.) 

Wbitinos. want of FINISH IN HIS WOBK. 33 

worthy kind ; bat it seems rash to reject them as worthless. 
They have no internal improbability ; and it is in their favour 
that they are not such as it would have been worth any 
man's while to invent. 

The great work of Herodotus, to which he had devoted so 
many years, was not perhaps regarded by him as altogether 
complete at his decease. He was continually adding touches 
to it, as events came to his knowledge which seemed to him 
in any way to illustrate or confirm his narrative. In one 
place, itself perhaps among the latest additions to the 
history,^ he promises to relate an occurrence, for which we 
look in vain through the remaining pages. This may be a 
mere inadvertence, parallel to that which has permitted the 
repetition of a fooUsh tale about the priestesses of Pedasa, 
with a variation in the story which reads like a contradiction.^ 
But it has generally been regarded as a trace of incomplete- 
ness, which is not unlikely to be the true account, the author 
having designed to introduce the sequel of the narrative at a 
later point in his history, but having died before proceeding 
so far. U his decease occurred when he was about sixty, this 
would be far more probable than if we were bound to accept 
the common notion of his longevity. Dahlmann's supposi- 
tion • that Herodotus, writing at the age of seventy-seven, was 
still contemplating not only small improvements, but a 
lengthy digression on a most important subject, if not an 
entirely new work, is as unlikely as anything that can well be 
imagined on such a subject. If the History of Herodotus 
strikes us as wanting finish, both in some points of detail and 
in the awkwardness and abruptness of its close, we may fairly 
ascribe the defect to the untimely death of the writer, who was 

* Book rii. ch. 213. 

* See i. 175, and yiii. 104. The 
miracle, which in the first passage is 
Mid to haye occurred three times, in 
the last is mentioned as l[iaYiDg only 
beeo witnessed twice. The discre. 
paaey may perhaps be explained by 
the consideration, that the three 
closing books were written before the 

VOL. I. 

others. (See note on Book vii. 1.) 
THe third oconrrenoe may have fallen 
in the interval between the composi- 
tion of Book yiii. and Book i., and the 
passage in Book viii. may have been 
left as composed by inadvertence. 

« Life of Herodotns, ch. ix. § 2. Col . 
Mnre adopts the same view. (Lit. of 
Greece, vol. iv. p. 270-1.) 


probably not older than sixty, and perhaps not more than 
fifty-five at his decease. Had his life been lengthened to the 
term ordinarily allotted to man, the little blemishes which 
modem criticism discerns might have been removed, and the 
work have shown throughout the finished grace which the 
master's hand is wont to impart when it consciously gives 
the last touches. 




Importance of the qnestion. Historical materials already existing in Greece. 
Works of three kinds : 1. Mythological ; 2 Oeog^phical ; 8. Strictly his- 
toricaL How tar nsed as materials by Herodotus. Xauthos. Charon. 
Dionysins. The geog^phers: Hecataeos, Scylax, Aristeas. The poets. 
Chief sonroe of the History of Herodotos, personal observation and inquiry. 
How far authenticated by monumental records : 1. In Greece ; 2. In 
foreign countries — Egypt, Babylon, Persia. General result. 

In order to estimate aright, either the historical value of the 
great work of our author, or the credit that is due to him for 
its composition, it is necessary to make some inquiry as to the 
materials which he possessed and the sources from which he 
drew his narrative. " The value of every history, as a work of 
utility, must primarily depend on the copiousness and authen- 
ticity of the materials at the author's disposal."^ And the 
merit of the author as an historian must be judged from the 
sagacity which he shows in the comparative estimate of the 
various sources of his information, and the use which he makes 
of the stock of materials, be it scanty or abundant, to which 
circumstances give him access. To judge, then, either of the 
writer or his work, we must inquire what the sources of in- 
formation were from which Herodotus had it in his power to* 
draw, and to what extent he availed himself of them. 

Now it seems certain that a considerable store of written 
historical information already existed in the native language 
of Herodotus at the time when he commenced his history. 
Historical composition had not, indeed, begun at a very 
distant date ; but from the middle of the sixth century b.c. 

^ See Mare's Literature of Greece, vol. ir. pp. 294-5. 



Lira AND 

there had been a rapid succession of writers in this depart- 
ment, more especially among the fellow-countrymen of our 
author in Asiatic Greece. Setting aside Cadmus of Miletus as 
a personage whose existence is at least doubtful,^ there may 
certainly be enumerated as labourers in the historical field 
during this and the first h^Jf of the ensuing century, EugSBon 
of Samos, Bion and Deiochus of Proconnesus, Eudemus of 
Paros, Amelesagoras of Ghalcedon, Democles of Phygela, 
Hecatseus and Dionysius of Miletus, Charon of Lampsacus, 
Damastes of Sigeum, Xanthus of Sardis, and Pherecydes of 
Leros — all natives of Asia Minor, or the islands in its im- 
mediate vicinity, and the authors of books on historical 
subjects before or about the time when Herodotus read the 
first draft of his work at Athens. Besides these writers there 
were others of considerable reputation in more distant parts 
of Greece, as Acusilaiis of Argos, Theagenes and Hippys of 
Ehegium, Polyzelus of Messenia,® &c., whose productions belong 
to the same period. The works of these historians, so far as 
can be gathered from the notices of ancient authors,^ and the 
fragments we possess of many of them,^ are divisible into 
three classes, of very different importance and authority. The 
earlier writers, who are fairly represented by Acusilaiis, seem 
to have devoted themselves exclusively to the ancient Greek 
legends, belonging to the mythical period before the return of 
the Heracleids. They wrote works which they called generally 
"Genealogies" or "Theogonies,"® imitated closely from the 
old genealogical poets, such as Hesiod, whose poem entitled 
" Theogonia'' is said to have been the model followed by some 

* The arguments against Cadmus are 
well condensed by Miiller in his second 
▼olnme of the Fragmenta Hist. Grseo. 
pp. 8, 4. 

* For a detailed acoonnt of these 
writers and their productions, see 
Miiller's Fr. H. G. vols. i. and ii. Comp. 
Clinton's Fasti Hellenici, vol. ii. Appen. 
dix, oh. 21, and Mure, vol. iv. ch. 3. 
Matthi89*s Manual of the History of 
Greek and Roman Literature, though 
■oanty, is naefuL 

* Particularly from Suidaa. 

" Stnrz and Creuzer were the first to 
begin the collection of these valuable 
remains of antiquity, which has at 
last been accomplished, so as to leave 
nothing to desire, by C. Miiller, in the 
work fdready so often quoted. 

^ As the works of Acusilaus and 
HccatoBus, entitled rcycoXoyicu (Suid. 
ad voc. Acusilafis, Steph. Bya., &o.), 
and that of Pherecydes, whidi was 
called Swywia (Suid.). 




of them.^ No complete production of the kind by a writer of 
this early age has come down to us ; but the Bibliotheca of 
the grammarian Apollodorus® is perhaps a tolerable representa- 
tion of their usual character. 

The next subject which engaged the attention of the prose 
writers, and on which works were composed by some of the 
authors above-mentioned, was geography. At all times an 
important element in historical research, this study, in the 
earUer period of Greek Uterature, was scarcely distinguished 
from that nobler science of which it is properly the handmaid. 
Scylax of Caryanda,* Hecataeus,^ Dionysius, according to one 
account,* Charon,® Damastes,* and perhaps Democles,** wrote 
treatises on general or special geography, into which they 
interwove occasional notices belonging to the history of the 
country whose features they were engaged in describing. 
These labours led the way to history proper. Dionysius of 
Miletus, a contemporary and countryman of Hecatseus,® seems 
to have set the example by the composition of a work entitled 
Persica, or Persian History, which probably traced the pro- 

^ Clement says of AcnBil&iis and En- 
mehifl (Eademns ?) — ri 'H(rt^8ov fitr^X- 
Aa|ay tis wtChp \6yop (Strom, vi. p. 
752.6). The fragments of Aonsilaiis 
show the statement to be trae. 

• Printed in the first volume of 
Mailer's Fragm. H. Gr., and edited in 
a separate form by Tanaqnil Faber 
(Sanmor, 1611), Heyne (G5ttingen, 
1782), and Clavier (Paris, 1805). 

* The work which has come down to 
us under the name of this writer is 
nndonbtedly spnrions, bat still it is a 
sign that a genoine work had once 
existed. There is farther evidence in 
ihe passages quoted by Aristotle 
(Folit. vii. 18) and others, which do 
not occar in the fictitious Scylaz. 

^ The great work of Hecataeus was 
entitled 'The Circuit of the Earth' 
(yift wtploios). It contained a descrip. 
tion of the known world, which he 
divided into two parts, Europe and 
Ana, including in the latter Africa. 
The coasts of the Mediterranean were 
described in detail; but only scanty 
knowledge was shown of the more in- 

land tracts. For a complete account 
see Klausen's Fragments of HecatsBus, 
and Mure's Literature of Greece, 
vol. iv. pp. 144-158. 

' Suidcbs (ad. voc. Aioy{Kru>i MiX^- 
(Tioj) ascribes to him a work entitled 
* Uf pffiyriff IS oiKovfi4yriSt' or a Descrip- 
tion of the Inhabited World; but it 
is doubted whether the book intended 
is not that of the Augustan geographer 
commonly known as Dionysius Poric- 
getes (Bemhardy ad Dion. Per. p. 489 ; 
Miiller ad. Fragm. H. G. vol. ii. p. 6). 

' Charon wrote a Periplus of the 
parts lying beyond the Pillars of Her. 
cules (Suidas). 

* Damastes is quoted by Strabo on 
the geog^phy of the Troas, and of 
Cyprus (xiii. p. 842, and adv. p. 973). 
Agathemer says (i. 1) that he wrote a 
Periplus. His geog^raphy was followed 
to a considerable extent by Eratos- 
thenes (Strab. i. p. 68). 

' Democles treated of the *' Volcanic 
phenomena in Asia Minor" (Strab. i. 
p. 85), probably in a geographical work. 

' Suidas ad voc. 'Eftcrrcuof. 



LiPK Ain> 

gress of that nation from the time of Cyrus to a' period which 
cannot be fixed in the reign of Xerxes.'' This work would 
seem to have been written in the early part of the fifth century 
B.C.® The example thus set was soon followed by others. 
Charon of Lampsacus, and Xanthus of Sardis, towards the 
middle of the century, composed treatises partly on the special 
history of their own countries, partly on more general subjects. 
Charon, in his Hellenica and Persica, went over most of the 
ground which is traversed by Herodotus,* while in his Prytanes, 
or " Chief Eulers of Sparta," he laid perhaps the first founda- 
tion among the Greeks of a practical system of chronology.^ 
He was Ukewise the author of a work or works ^ on the annals 
of his native city, Lampsacus, of which several fragments have 
come down to us. Xanthus treated at length of the history of 
Lydia, not only during the recent dynasty of the Mermnadae,* 
but also during the remoter times of the HeraclidsB, and even 
of the AtyadsB. He indulged in ethnological, linguistic, and 
geological dissertations ; * and must have written a history, in 
the general character of its matter not very imlike that of our 
author. A book upon the Magian priest caste is also assigned 

^ Sinco he is said to have written a 
work 'On eycnts auhseqiumt to the 
reiffn of Darius ' (Snidafi). 

^Saidas says that Dionysins flon. 
rished contemporaneooslj with Heca. 
troas. It is not likely, therefore, that 
he outlived Darius many years. Heoa- 
tfDUB sooms to have died soon after 
B.C. 480 (Suidas ad voo. ^EwdyiKos), 

* Charon related the dream of Asty- 
ages with regard to his daughter 
Mandan6; the revolt and flight of 
Pactyas the Lydian, first to Mytil^n^, 
and then to Chios, with his final 
capture by the Persians ; the aid lent 
by Athens to the revolted lonians, the 
sack of Sardis, except the citadel, and 
the retreat following closely upon it ; 
also the disasters which Mardonius 
experienced about Mount Athos. He 
likewise noticed the flight of Themis- 
iocles to Asia, which he placed in the 
reign oi Artaxerxes. Thus his nar. 
ratire would seem to hare come down 

to a later date than the main narrative 
of Herodotus. 

^ Suidas, who alone mentions this 
work, notices that it was chronological. 

* Suidas mentions two books of Cha- 
ron's on this subject, and the extracts 
from his writings concerning Lamp- 
sacus, which have come down to us, 
furnish three distinct titles, but it 
may be doubted whether all the refer- 
ences are not really to a single trea- 
tise. (See Miiller's Frag. H. Gr. vol. 
i. pp. xix.-xx.) 

' Col. Mure doubts whether Xanthus 
treated of this period, because "not 
one of the successors of Gyges is 
noticed in his Fragments" (Lit. of 
Greece, vol. iv. p. 173), but it has with 
much reason been conjectured (Muller, 
vol. i. p. 40) that the work of Xanthus 
furnished Nicholas of Damascus with 
his materials for the history of the 
kings in question. 

* See his Fragments, Frs. 1, 3, 4, and 8. 




to him ; but it is so seldom quoted ' that some doubt may be 
considered to attach to it. About the same time probably, 
Hippys of Bhegium composed an account of the colonisation 
of Italy and Sicily, and also a chronological work, the exact 
nature of which cannot be determined.^ It is likely that 
besides these authors there may have been many others, who, 
under the general name of Logographers or legend-writers, 
devoted themselves to historical subjects, and especially to 
that which could not fail to exercise a particular attraction, 
the history of the war with Persia.'' 

This brief review is perhaps enough to indicate the general 
character of the materials which existed in the historical 
literature of his country at the time when Herodotus may be 
presumed to have written.® It is, however, quite a distinct 
question how far they may be regarded as materials really at 
our author's disposal. Modems, accustomed to the ready multi- 
plication of books which the art of printing has introduced, and 
living in times when every writer who makes any pretence to 
learning is the owner of a library, are apt to imagine that the 

' Twice only, riz. by Diogenes Laer- 
tioB (Proem. § 2), and by Clemens 
AlezandrinnB (Strom, iii. p. 515). 
The former passage has been doubted 
(Muller, p. 44), bat without suflBcient 

* Snidas merely calls this work 
XporurdL The few fragments which 
remain of it seem to show that its 
compass was gpreat and its affectation 
of accuracy remarkable (see Frag- 
ments 1, 2, 8, and 5). The conjecture 
that the other works ascribed to 
Hippys were portions of his Xpopixd 
(which Ccl. Mure approves, p. 178), is 
not borne oat by the citations. (See 

•lluller's Fr. H. G. vol. ii. pp. 18-15.) 

^ That seTeral of the early writers 
had treated this subject is plain from 
Thucydides (i. 97). 

• HeDanicus of Lesbos, Stesimbrotus 
of Thasoe, and Antiochas of Syracuse, 
who are enumerated by Col. Mure 
among the anthers " whose works were, 
or may have been, published before that 
of Herodotus,** have been purposely 

omitted from the foregoing review as 
writers of too late a date to come pro- 
perly within it. Hellanicus was in. 
deed, if we may trust Pamphila, some 
years older than our author, but he 
must be regarded as a later writer; 
since. 1. in his great work (the Attfais) 
he alluded to the battle of ArginuscD, 
which was fought in B.C. 406, nearly 
20 years after the time when Hero- 
dotus seems to have died ; and, 2. it is 
related of him that he read (Schol. ad. 
Soph. Phil. 201) and copied Hero- 
dotus (Porphyr. ap. Euseb. Pr. Ev. x. 
p. 466 b) . Stesimbrotus was as nearly 
as possible contemporary with our 
author, but his only historical work, 
the ' Memoirs of Themistocles, Thucy- 
dides, and Pericles,* could not have 
been written before B.C. 430 (cf . Frag. 
Hist. Gr. vol. ii. p. 66, Fr. 11), and prob- 
ably appeared several years later. An- 
tiochas was also a contemporary, but as 
he continued his Italian history down 
to the year B.C. 423, Herodotns can 
scarcely have profited by him. 



Life and 

facilities of reference common in their own day, were enjoyed 
equally by the ancients ; but such a view is altogether mis- 
taken. Books, till long after the time of Herodotus, were 
multiplied with difficulty, and were published more by being 
read to audiences than by the tedious and costly process of 
copying. Herodotus, it is probable, possessed but few of those 
cumbrous collections of papyrus-rolls which were required in 
his day to contain a work of even moderate dimensions.* The 
only prose writer from whom he quotes is HecatsBUS ; and we 
have no direct evidence that he had it in his power to consult 
the works of any other Greek historian. No public libraries 
are known to have existed at the time ; ^ and had he possessed 
a familiar knowledge of other authors, it is difficult to suppose 
that his book would not have borne evident traces of it. It is 
not his practice purposely to withhold names, or to avoid 
reference to his authorities ; on the contrary he continually 
lets us see in the most artless manner whence his relations 
are derived ; and nothing is more clear than that he drew 
them in the main, not from the books of writers, but from the 
lips of those whom he thought to have the best information. 
It is possible that he was wholly unacquainted with the com- 
positions of those previous authors, who had treated of subjects 
of real history coming within the scope of his work. The 
fame of such persons was often local ; and the very knowledge 
of their writings may in early times have been confined within 
narrow limits. It was the doing of a later age — an age of 
book-collectors and antiquaries — ^to draw forth these authors 
from their obscurity, and invest them with an importance to 
which they had little claim, except as unread and ancient. 

The authors from whom, if from any, Herodotus might 
have been expected to draw, are three of those most recently^ 

' Books conBiated of a namber of 
sheets of papyms (a coarse material) 
pasted together, with writing on one 
side only, rolled round a thickish staff. 
So small a work as the Metamorphoses 
of Orid required fifteen such cmnbrons 
rolls (Or. Trist. i. 117). 

^ Polvcrates had formed a public 

library at Samos (Athenaeus, I. i. p. 
9, Sohw.), and Pisistratns at Athens 
(ibid.) ; but the latter had certainly 
been carried to Susa by Xerxee (Aul. 
Gell. yi. 17) ; and it is very unlikely 
that the former had escaped the gene- 
ral ruin consequent upon the treachery 
of Ma^andrius (Herod, iii. 146-9). 



mentioned — Dionysius of Miletus, Charon of Lampsacus, and 
Xanthus Lydus. All were, so to speak, his neighbours ; and 
while the former two wrote at length upon Persian aflFairs, the 
last-mentioned composed an elaborate treatise on the history 
of his native country — one of the subjects which Herodotus 
regarded as coming distinctly within the scope of his great 
work. It is hardly possible that he would have neglected 
these books, especially the last, had they been known to him. 
Yet, from a comparison of the fragments, which are tolerably 
extensive, both of Charon and of Xanthus, with the work of 
our author, it becomes apparent that, whether he knew the 
histories of these writers or no, at any rate he made no use of 
them. His Lydian history shows not the slightest trace of 
any acquaintance with the labours of Xanthus, whom he not 
merely ignores,^ but from whom he differs in some of the most 
important points of his narrative, as the colonisation of 
Etruria,® and the circumstances imder which the MermnadaB 
became possessed of the throne.* His custom of mentioning 
different versions of a story when he is aware of them, makes 
it almost certain that he did not know the tale which in the 
Lydian author took the place of his own story of Tyrsenus, or 
the long narrative, probably from the same source,* which 
traced the hereditary feuds of the Heraclide and Mermnade 
families. Again, his remark that the land of Lydia has few 
natural phenomena deserving notice,® is indicative of an 
ignorance of those interesting accoimts — so entirely accordant 
with truth and fact ^ — ^which the native writer had given of 

* Dahlxnann has remarked (Life of 
Herod, p. 91) that the mere omission 
of all mention on the part of Herodotns 
of the Lydian kings Alcimns, Ascalns, 
Gambles, Ac., whom Xanthns cele- 
brated, is not oonclnsive ; since " one 
sees froDn his oocasional obserrations 
that he knew more than his connected 
narratlTe implies." Still it is, at least, 
a snspicions ciromnstance. 

* See Xanthus, Fr. 1. 

* The certainty- of this depends on 
the extent to which it may be regarded 
as ascertained that Xanthus famished 

Nicholas of Damascus with the mate- 
rials of his Lydian history. I agree 
with C. Miiller, that little doubt can 
reasonably be entertained on the sub- 
ject. (Frag. Hist. Gr. vol. i. p. 40, and 
vol. iii. p. 370 ; note to Fr. 22.) 

' Nic. Damasc. Fr. 49. 

« Book i. ch. 93. 

^ See Mr. Hamilton's Travels in Asia 
Minor (vol. i. pp. 136-144), where the 
striking features of this curious vol- 
canic tract are fully and graphically 


oorliiiii iuohI poiMiliar phyHical Appoturanccs in the interior of 
L,v«liiv.** lloiHulotuH, whom goological phenomena always 
intonml,^ would cortainly not havo omitted, had his knowledge 
oxioutlod HO far, a dosoriptiou of that extraordinary region, 
Iho ruiakooauniono, whioh ovon to the modem traveller, with 
\\\H far moro oxtousivo knowledge of the earth's surface, 
appours »o romarkahlo. It 8oonis, therefore, to be beyond a 
doubt \\u\i KphoruH was mistakon when he tiilked of Xanthus 
ax •* having served as a stjirting-iHunt to Herodotus."^ Ho 
was an older nuuu having Kvn K^rn b.c. 4i>9,* and probably 
an earlier wriler vthough, as he mentiontnl an event in the 
r^Mgn of \rta\er\es/ he o\Hild not have Kvn greatly earlier- ; 
bu< Ueixnlotus had not stvn. ^vrhaps had not heard of. his 
\SMU|Kwiiions. Apivarxnitly, they werv first brought to the 
Vu%^\\U\i^* of the Imvks by Kphv>rus, a native of the ntigh- 
ls*\uuig i\\me. who tUnirish^\l during the reign of Philip of 
MavtsUnu It is not ewu e^rtain that they were wrintn at the 
lixuo wlieu Heivslotus first vvm^v^s^xl his history,* 

MvxJoru v-ritivs ha\e niriiy* fail^vi to Sf:v our autho^r's entire 
ituWjvndvv.vV of the tioxis of^is: but :t has fonieiiiiirs 
Kvn a:>::u\l th^t t:u rv arv uninisiAiable uuo^s of his bftvinz 
kuo^v. AV,vl us^vi ti;e >Kr:tirj?> of ChAr:-,* Ur-ivCirSeJIy h^ 
ttU'V,t:.>4:* A \*r:vty of :v,AK<rs. ><^r-:i .-f 01^=: luiricrs 
\v,^\ N^ cjillxxl tr.\^*l. «h>.-h ^j: rt- liic-arlM: r:r«:nc*i ry Cidkr 
K;t AS tV t>fcv* >fcr,T<rs >»vr,: ^'v^ir txiwily •!-; 5;kz:~ i:r>" 
ihv'x o.v,\l r^>5 K:? >,dix>* r,:jki-y :x':r.Ts :c v'-.cita^^. sr^i izr. 

* S**v ■■ ^*v:i ^ S tBii t^«t ^^. i.>r-r- re -Jar sarni.x -nar sar^ :t«-a. 

«4fr K JW m <»<i> r^ t ">-;.4itew. Till. Q" T^jiir i *C*.. 

* ^ «ite» *i '\v- 1^ »i f i. * *>!«atfr ik Z ^R:»r-■. *ai? til— 

* "^^^-^cwvav ^ .^^Hunc^w> itu iw« iivvvm mn: Vac iiw ^auaracat^i -aac 



points are really so trivial and the coincidences at once so 
nomerons and so exact and minute, as to indicate the use by 
one writer of the other, or to imply naturally anything more 
than mere common truthfulness. Now, the points of co- 
incidence do not really exceed four. Charon and Herodotus 
alike related: — 1. A certain dream of Astyages, concerning 
his daughter Mandane : 2. The revolt of Factyas, and his 
capture : 8. The taking of Sardis by the lonians : and 4. The 
destruction of the fleet of Mardonius off Mount Athos. Of 
these four events, one only — the dream of Astyages — is really 
trivial; the others are such as every writer who gave an 
account of the struggle between Greece and Persia would have 
felt himself called upon to mention, and of which, therefore, 
both Charon and Herodotus must necessarily have given a 
description. With regard to the dream, we do not know in 
what words Charon related it, or whether his relation really 
coincided closely with the account given by Herodotus. Ter- 
tullian, who alone reports the agreement, speaks of it in 
general terms ; ^ and if it should be admitted that he means 
a close agreement, still it must be remembered that Tertullian, 
as an historical authority, is weak and of little credit. With 
regard to the other cases of agreement, it is certain that they 
were not either minute or exact. The Pseudo-Plutarch, 
indeed, overstates the difference between the writers when he 
represents Charon as in two of the passages contradicting 
Herodotus.® There is in neither case any real contradiction,® 
though the two writers certainly leave a different impression ; 
but what deserves particularly to be remarked is, that 
Herodotus on each occasion furnishes a number of additional 
details; so that, although the narrative of Charon might 
(conceivably) have been drawn from his, it is impossible that 
his narrative should have been taken from that of Charon. 
With regard to the remaining passage, there is still further 

' Tertullian, after relating the dream 
from Herodotns, merely says, " Hoc 
etiam Charon Lampsacenns, Herodoto 
prior, tradit." (Be Anim. c. 46.) 

* Cf . Flat, de Malign. Herod, p. S59 
A, and p. 861 c.d. 

* See the notes on the passages in 
question, i. 160, and y. 102. 



indication of disagreement. Charon must have made pigeons 
occupy a prominent place in his description of the destruction 
of the Persian armament ; for his account of it led him to 
remark that "then first did white pigeons appear in Greece, 
which had been quite unknown previously." ^ It is needless 
to observe that in the narrative of Herodotus there is nothing 
upon which such a remark could hang. The circumstance, 
whatever it was, which led Charon to introduce such a notice, 
would seem to have been unknown to our author, whose love 
of marvels, whether natural or supernatural, would have 
prompted him to seize eagerly on an occasion of mentioning 
so curious a fact of natural history. Further, it must be 
observed, as tending at least to throw doubt on the supposed 
use of the great work of Charon by our author, that he was 
certainly unacquainted with Charon's 'Annals of Lampsacus ; ' 
for, had he been aware that Pityusa (Fir-town) was the 
ancient name of that city — a fact put forward prominently by 
the Lampsacene writer ^ — ^he could not have failed to see the 
real point of the famous threat against the Lampsacenes 
made by Croesus, " that he would destroy their city like afir.''^ 
It seems, therefore, to have been concluded on very insufficient 
grounds that Herodotus was indebted for a portion of his 
materials to Charon: he was certainly ignorant of some of 
that author's labours, and most probably had no knowledge 
of any of them.* It is even possible that Charon, no less than 

^ Ft. 8 — preserred by AthensBUB 
(Deipn. iz. p. 394 e). Col. Mnre 
strangely views this passage as one of 
those which most distinctly prove 
Herodotns to have been indebted to 
Charon, comparing it with Herod, i. 
138, and regarding both writers as 
bearing testimony to the "superstitions 
aversion of the Persians to white 
pigeons." Bat how does Charon*s 
statement that "white pigeons first 
appeared in Greece at the time of 
llardonins' failore/' imply that the 
Persians looked on them with " snper- 
■titioiis aversion " ? 

' See the Fragment, preserved by 
Fhitaroh (De Yirt. Mnlier. p. 255 ▲), 

which is placed sixth in the arrange- 
ment of Miiller (Fr. Hist. Gr. vol. i. 
p. 33). 

> ** Uirvos rpifwov:* Herod, vi. 87. 

^ Col. Mnre thinks that the work of 
Herodotns contains an allnsion (vi. 55) 
to Charon's ' Spartan Magistrates * (Lit. 
of Greece, vol iv. p. 306). Charon is, 
he observes, "the only author who is 
rcicorded to have treated of the sub- 
jects" which Herodotns there passes 
over as already considered by others. 
Bat even granting — what is not at all 
certain — that Charon's work contained 
an aocoant of the ante-Dorian period, 
it is dear that he was not the only 
writer who had treated of the subject. 




Xanthus, may have published his works subsequently to the 
time when Herodotus, with the first draft of his history com- 
pleted, left Asia for Attica.' 

With regard to Dionysius of Miletus, the remaining author, 
whose works may be supposed to have been used largely by 
Herodotus, it is impossible to come to a conclusion by the aid 
of any such analysis as that which has served to negative the 
claims of Charon and Xanthus, since of Dionysius we do not 
possess any fragments.^ His age is certainly such as to make 
it likely that Herodotus would have known of his writings ; ^ 
but the absolute silence observed by our author with regard to 
him, and the probable bareness and scantiness of his narra- 
tive, contravene the notion that his historical works, however 
great an advance upon those of his predecessors, were found 
by Herodotus to be very valuable, either as materials for 
history or as models of style. As the earliest of the prose 
writers who turned his attention to the relation of actual facts, 
we may be sure that he fully shared in that dryness and 
jejuneness of composition, that laconic curtness of narration. 

since Herodotus in the passage itself 
refers to several. Col. More mis- 
translates Herodotus when he repre- 
sents him as saying '' he abstains from 
tracing in detail the origin or lineage 
of the Lacedsemonian kings, as that 
had been fully done by others." What 
Herodotus abstains from tracing is not 
" the origin and lineage of the Lace- 
dssmonian kings/' but the establish- 
ment of the kingdom of Danaiis in the 
Peloponnese. This was a favourite 
subject with the mythologers, whether 
poets or prose writers. See note to 
Book vi. eh. 56. 

' The age of Charon is very uncer- 
tain. The passage in Suidcus which 
should fix his birth is corrupt ; and we 
are thus left without any exact data 
for his period of writing. He is gene- 
rally said to have been earlier than 
Herodotus (Dionys. Hal. de Thuc. Jud. 
p. 769 ; Flut. de Malign. Her. p. 859 
▲ ; Tertoll. Oe An. o. 46) ; and Suidas 
makes his aemS synchronise with the 
Persian war. But there is evidence 

that he composed history later than 
B.C. 465, since he spoke of the flight 
of Themistocles to the court of Arta- 
zerxes in that year. (Pint. Vit. The- 
mistocl. c. 27.) Dionysius (1. s. c.) 
couples him with Hellanicus, who out- 
lived the battle of Arginusos, B.C. 406, 
and according to one account resided 
at the court of Amyntas II., who as- 
cended the throne B.C. 394. As Hel- 
lanicus was certainly a later writer than 
Herodotus, so Charon may have been. 

• Only two references to matters 
contained in the works of Dionysius 
have been discovered : one mentions 
him among the writers who considered 
Danaiis to have brought the alphabet 
to Greece, rather than Cadmus ; and 
the other notices that he made the 
name of Mount Hsemus neuter. (See 
Miiller's Fragm. Hist. Gr. vol. ii. p. 5.) 
Nothing is to be gathered from such 
scanty and insignificant data. 

^ He was contemporary with Heca- 
tsBUS (Suidas ad voc. 'Eicarcubs), with 
whom he is usually coupled. 



Life and 

and that preference of the trivial over the important, which 
characterise the productions of the period.® Still Herodotus 
may have used this writer for the events wherewith he was 
contemporary, especially for those of which Ionia was the 
scene, and of which Dionysius must have been an eye-witness ; 
and there is at any rate more likelihood of his having been 
under important obligations to this author than to any of 
those other historical writers from whom he has been thought 
to have borrowed. 

The only prose works with which Herodotus distinctly shows 
himself familiar are the " Genealogies '* and " Geography " of 
HecatsBUS, and the treatises of the mythologers. From these 
sources he may undoubtedly have drawn to some considerable 
extent ; but it is remarkable that he refers to HecatsBus chiefly 
in disparagement,* and to the mythological writers as reliev- 
ing him from the necessity of entering upon a subject which 
had been discussed by them.^ It must, therefore, on the whole 
be pronounced that he probably owed but little to the historical 
literature of his country, which was indeed in its infancy, and 
can scarcely have contained much information of an authentic 
character which was not accessible to him in another manner. 
With the single exception of JDionysius, the Greek writers of 
history proper were so little removed from his own date, that 
the sources from which they drew were as accessible to him as 
to them. To the geographers he may have been more largely 
indebted. A writer of weak authority * accuses him of having 
copied word for word from HecatsBus his long descriptions of 
the phoenix, the hippopotamus, and the mode of taking the 
crocodile. It seems, however, improbable that he should have 
had recourse to another author for descriptions of objects and 
occurrences with which he was likely to have been well ac- 
quainted himself; and, with regard to the phoenix, his own 
words declare that his description is taken from a picture.^ 

' See the Bpecimens g^ven below, 
oh. iii. ad fin. 

• See ii. 21, 28, 143 ; ir. 36. 
I Herod, vi. 55. 

• Porphyry, quoted by Easebios 
(Praep. Ev. x. 8, voL it p. 469). 
> Herod, ii. 78. 




Still, the " Geography " of Hecatflens may probably have been 
of use to him in his accomits of places which he had not him- 
self visited, as in his enumeration of the tribes inhabiting 
Northern Africa, which may have been drawn to some extent 
from that writer.^ He also, it is evident, knew intimately the 
works of certain other geographers, for whom, however, he 
does not express much respect.^ It has been maintained that 
the genuine work of Scylax was, almost beyond a doubt, 
among the number ; * if so, Herodotus certainly evinced his 
judgment in contemptuously discarding the wonderful tales 
told by that writer concerning various strange races of men 
in remote parts of the world, which reduce his credibility 
below that of almost any other traveller.^ There is more direct 
evidence® that Herodotus made use of Aristeas, an author 
who had written, under the name of ''Arimaspea,'* a poem 
containing a good deal of geographical information concerning 
the countries towards the north of Europe, partly the result 

* Hectttdu mentiooed the Psylli, 
the Masyee or Mazyes, the Zaneces, 
and the Zvgantes as nations inhabit- 
ing these parts (see Fragments 303, 
804, 306, and 307), all of whom ap- 
pear in Herodotns (iv. 173, 191, 193, 
and 194). 

» See ii. 15, 17 ; ir. 86, 42, 45. 

* See Hare's Literatnre oif Greece, 
vol. ir. p. 309. Col. More says, that 
" as sereral notices of Sonthem Africa 
and Asia, transmitted by later geogra- 
phers on the aathority of Scylax, are 
identical in snbetance with the ac- 
ooonts given by Herodotns of the same 
region, there is the less reason to 
doubt his having been acquainted 
with the original work of that enter- 
prising mariner." I do not understand 
to what notices he alludes. The only 
passages, so far as I am aware, which 
can be referred with any degree of 
probability to the genuine Scylax, are 
Arist. Pol. vii. 14; Harpocrat. ad voo 
M -pit oUowmnsi Philostrat. Vit. 
ApoIL Tyan. iii 47 ; and Txetzcs, 
Chil- vii. 144. To one only of these, 
that in Harpooration (which speaks of 
TRigkxIjtes), can Hevodotus by any 

I>ossibility allude. And even here I 
should understcmd in Scylax, the Tro- 
glodytes of the Arabian Gulf (cf. 
Strab. xvi. p. 1103, 1107), in Hero- 
dotus (iv. 1B3) those of the interior 
(Strab. xvii. p. 1173). From the age 
of Scylax, and the near vicinity of his 
birthplace to HalicamassuB, it seems 
likely that Herodotus would have 
known his works, if he wrote any. 
Perhaps it has not yet been quite satis- 
factorily established that the real Scy- 
lax left behind him any writings. 

^ Scylax, or the writer upon India 
who assumed his name, asserted that 
there dwelt in that country men with 
feet of so large a size that they were 
in the habit of using them as parasols 
(Philostr. 1. s. c), and spoke of others 
whose ears were like winnowing-fans 
(Tzet7es, 1. s. c). To the same writer 
are to be traced the fables, repeated 
afterwards by Daimachus and Megas- 
thenes (Strab. i. p. 105), concem'ng 
men in India who had only one eye, 
and others whose ears were so big 
that they slept in them (Tzet. 1. s. c). 

• Herod, iv. 13. 




of his own personal observation. Undoubtedly he also profited 
from the maps whose construction he ridiculed ; • but which, 
rude and incorrect in detail as they may have been, could 
not have failed to be of immense service to him in clearing his 
views, and giving him the true notion of geographical descrip- 

In enumerating the sources from which Herodotus drew the 
materials of his work, it would be wrong to confine ourselves 
to a consideration of the early prose writers. It has been just 
noticed that one of the geographers to whom he was certainly 
beholden — Aristeas, the author of the Arimaspea — ^was a poet ; 
and there is reason to suspect that considerable portions of his 
historical narrative may have likewise had a poetical origin. 
Not to dwell on the poetic cast of so much that he has written, 
which might perhaps be ascribed to the character of his own 
mind and to the fact that he modelled his style mainly on that 
of the poets, there are distinct grounds for believing that 
certain portions of his history, which are strongly marked by 
this character, had been previously made the subjects of their 
poetry by writers with whose compositions he was acquainted ; 
and in such cases it is but reasonable to suppose that he 
drew, to a greater or less extent, from them. The mention of 
Archilochus in connection with the poetic legend of Gyges and 
Gandaules cannot but raise a suspicion that the whole story, 
as given in Herodotus, may have come from him ; * while the 
notices of Solon,^ Pindar,® AIcsbus,^ and Simonides,^ who all 
celebrated contemporary persons and events, seem to show 
that he made some use of their writings in compiling his 

• Herod, iv. 36. The first map known 
to the Greeks is said to have been con- 
stmcted by Anaximander (Agathem. i. 
1), who lived about B.C. 600-530. He- 
oateens gpreatlj improved on it. Hero- 
dotus speaks of maps as common in his 
dav 0- 8. c). 

' Bahr supposes Herodotus to refer 
only to the single iambic line of Archi- 
lochus — oC fioi rit r^cw rov woXv^fi^fTov 
iUK€i — which has come down to us 
through Aristotle and Plutarch. (See 

his note on Book i. ch. 12.) And Drs. 
Liddell and Scott assign the same 
meaning to the word ta^ifios in the 
passage (Lezic. p. 680). But it ap- 
pears to me that Sohweighsauser, 
Larcher, and the translators generally 
are right in giving the word here the 
sense — certo^y borne by it in later 
times — of an iambic poem. 

« Herod, v. 113. 

» Ibid. iii. 38. * Ibid. v. 95. 

»Ibid.v. 102;vii.228. 



narrative. Further, it may be conjectured that the Persian 
authors to whom he refers in several places as authorities on 
the subject of their early national history,* were poets, the 
composers of those national songs of which Xenophon,^ 
Strabo,® and other writers • speak, wherein were celebrated 
the deeds of the ancient kings and heroes, and particularly 
those of the hero-founder of the Empire, Cyrus. 

Upon the whole, however, it must be pronounced that the 
real source of almost all that Herodotus has delivered down to 
us, whether in the shape of historical narrative or geographical 
description, was personal observation and inquiry. His 
accounts of countries are, in the great majority of cases, 
drawn from his own experience, and are full or scanty, 
according to the time which he had spent in the countries, in 
making acquaintance with their general character and special 
phenomena. Where he has not travelled himself, he trusts 
to the reports of others, but only, to all appearance, of eye- 
witnesses} If in any case he gives mere rumours which have 
come to him at second-hand, he is careful to distinguish them 
from his ordinary statements and descriptions.* He seems to 
have been indefatigable in laying under contribution all those 
with whom his active and varied life brought him in contact,® 
and deriving from them information concerning any regions 
unvisited by himself, with which they professed themselves 
acquainted. And as it was by these means that he gathered 
the materials for the geographical portions of his work, so by 

• Herod, i. 1-6, 95, 214 ad fin. 
' Cyxop. I. ii. § 1. 

• Book XV. p. 1041. 

* Aa AthensBiLS, who quotes Dino to 
the same effect. . (Deipnoeoph. jdv. 
p. 633 D.) 

* This is not always expressed, bat 
it appears from his ref n^ to acoept 
of any statements or descriptions as 
certain, onless received from an eye- 
witness. Hence his relactance to al- 
low of a sea to the north of Europe 
(iii. 115, oiAivos ahr6frr %m ytvoiUvov 
9ft l^voiiM kKovcuii compare iv. 45), 

VOL. I. 

and his refusal to describe the conn- 
tries above Scythia (iv. 16, ovS4yos 
a{tr6wrtv ti94yai ^afA4yov hvyofuu 
'rv04<rBat)t of those above the Argip- 
psBans (iv. 25), and Issedonians (ibid.). 
Certain knowledge (rh krptKis) seems 
to mean knowledge thus derived. 
(See iii. 98, 116; iv. 16, 25; v. 9.) 

« See ii. 82, 83 ; iv. 16, 24, 26-27, 32. 

' Marked indications of this practice 
of inquiry will be found in the follow- 
ing passaf^es : ii. 19, 28, 29, 34^ 104 ; 
iii. 115 i iv. 16. 


a very similar method he obtained the facts which he has 
worked up into his history. Herodotus, it must be remem- 
bered, lived and wrote within a century of the time when his 
direct narrative may be said to conmience, viz., the first year 
of Cyrus. The true subject of his history — the Persian War 
of Invasion — was yet more recent, its commencement falling 
less than fifty years from the time of his writing. He would 
^o^ thus stand in regard to his main subject somewhat in the 
\%^ * position of a writer at the present day who should determine 
to compose an original history of the last war with Napoleon, 
while, in respect of the earlier portion of his direct narrative, 
he would resemble one who should make his starting-point the 
accession of George HI. to the throne. Abundant Uving testi- 
mony would thus, it is plain, be accessible to him for the later 
and more important portion of his history, while for the 
middle portion he would be able to get a certain amount of 
such evidence, which would fail him entirely for the early 
period. Even then, however, he might obtain from living 
persons the accounts which they had received from those who 
took an active part in the transactions. This, accordingly, is 
what Herodotus seems to have done. Travelling over Europe 
and Asia, he everywhere made inquiries from the various 
parties concerned in the matters about which he was writing ; 
and from the accounts which he thus received, compared and 
balanced against each other, he composed his narrative. 
Where contemporary evidence failed him, or even where it 
was scanty, he extended his inquiries, endeavouring in each 
case to arrive at the truth by sifting and comparing the 
different reports,* and often deriving his information from the 
sons or grandsons of those who had been personally engaged 
in the transactions. The stories of Thersander* and of 
Archias' are respectively specimens of the manner in which 
he gained his knowledge of the more recent and the earlier 

< See i. 1-6, 20, 70, 75, 96, 214 ; ii. 
8, 147 ; iii. 1-8, 9, 82, 47, 56, 120-121; 
iv. 5-18, 150-154; V. 44, 57,85,86; 
vi. 58 ; vii. 150, 218, 214 ; viii. 94^ 

117-120 ; ix. 74. 

• Book ix. ohB. 16, 16. 
^ Book iii. ch. 65. 




facts which enter into his narrative. Of course the more 
remote the events the more dependent he became upon mere 
general tradition and belief, which, nnless in the bare outline 
of matters of great pnbUc concern, or in cases where the 
popular beUef is checked and supported by documentary evi- 
dence of some kind or other, is an authority of the least trust- 
worthy description. Before dismissing this subject it will, 
therefore, be desirable to consider what amount of such evi- 
dence existed among the various nations into whose earlier 
history Herodotus pushed his inquiries, and how far it was 
accessible to himself or to those from whom he derived his 

In Greece itself it is certain that there existed monumental 
records of two different kinds, containing undoubtedly but few 
details, yet still of great importance, as furnishing fixed 
points about which the national traditions might cluster, and 
as checks upon the inventiveness of fabuhsts. The earliest 
were the lists of kings, priests, and victors at the games, pre- 
served in some of the principal cities and sanctuaries,^ which 
formed in after times a basis for the labours of chronologers,^ 
and carried up a skeleton of authentic history to the return 
of the HeraclidsB. Besides these, there were to be found in 
the various temples, agor®, and other public places through- 
out Greece, particularly in the great national sanctuaries of 

' Aj the pnblio regigtem (iimypa^) 
•t Sparta (Plat. Vit. Ages. c. 19), con- 
taining the names of all the kings, 
and (probably) the number of years 
they reigned — the ancient chronicles 
(dpx^u* Tpdl^ifutra) at Elis (Pansan. V. 
IT. § 4) — the registers at Sicyon and 
Argos (Pint, de Mns. p. 1134 A. B.)— 
the list of the Olympian victors from 
the time of ConeboB, preserved in the 
sanctuary of Jnpiter at Olympia 
(FmoMma. V. viii. § 8 ; Enseb. Chron. 
Can. Fsrs I. o. xxxii.)— that of the 
Camean victors at Sparta (Athen. xiv. 
p. 635 E.) — and that of the arohons 
at Athens (Polyb. xii. xii. § 1). 

• Charon's work on the ' Chief 
Kulen oi Sparta * was probably taken 

from the ancient registers of the 
LacedflBmonians (see O. Miiller's 
Dorians, vol. i. p. 150, E. T. ; and C. 
Holler's Fr. Hist. Gr., vol. i. p. xviil). 
HellanicuB in his ' Priestesses of 
Jono/ and his 'Camean Victors/ 
followed no doubt the authentic cata^ 
logues at Sparta and Argoe. Timieus 
compared the lists of archons at 
Athens, kings and ephors at Sparta, 
and priestesses at Argos, with the 
catalogue of the Olympio victors 
(Polyb. 1. s. c). Eratosthenes and 
ApollodoruB seem to have founded 
their early Greek chronology, first on 
the Ust of Spartan kings, and then on 
the Olympio catalogue. (Mailer's 
Dorians, 1. s. c.) 



'Lm AKD 

Delphi and Olympia, a vast number of inscribed offerings — 
many of them of great antiquity — containing in their dedica- 
tory inscriptions curious and in some instances detailed 
notices of historical events, of the utmost value to the his- 
torian. Of the latter class of monuments Herodotus shows 
himself to have been a diligent observer ; and considerable 
portions of his history are authenticated in this satisfactory 
maimer. To instance from a single book — ^the independence 
of Phrygia under a royal line affecting the names of Midas 
and Gordias, the wealth and order of succession of the last or 
Mermnade dynasty of Lydian kings, the enormous riches of 
CroBsus, the friendly terms on which he stood with Sparta, 
and his great devotion to the Greek shrines; the escape of 
Arion from shipwreck, the filial devotion of Cleobis and Bito, 
and the repulse of the Spartans by the Tegeans on their first 
attempt to conquer Arcadia, are all supported by this kind of 
testimony within the space of seventy chapters after the 
history opens.® More important than any of these instances is 
that of the two pillars of Darius, which contained an account, 
both in Greek and in Persian, of the forces wherewith that 
monarch crossed the Bosphorus, and which were seen by 
Herodotus, in detached pieces, at Byzantium.^ Of equal con- 
sequence was the famous tripod, part gold and part bronze, 
which the confederate Greeks dedicated after the victory 
of Platsea to Apollo at Delphi, whereon were inscribed the 
names of the various states that took part against the Persians 
in the great struggle, from which Herodotus was able to 
authenticate his lists of the combatants.^ Other monuments 
of the same kind are known to have existed,® and in addition 
to them, historical paintings, whether in the shape of votive 

» See i. 14, 24, 25, 81, 50-2, 66, 69. 
Further instances of the carefal 
obsereance by Herodotus of snch 
memorials will be found i. 92 ; ii. 181, 
182 ; iii. 47 ; iv. 15, 152 ; v. 69-61, 
77 ; vi. 14 ; vii. 228 ; and in tho pas- 
sages noted below. 

1 Cf. It. 87. 

' This insoription has been recently 

recovered. See notes on Tiii. 82, and 
ix. 84. 

' As the colossal statne of Jupiter 
at Olympia, on tho base of which wore 
also engraved tho names of the Greeks 
who combated the Persians. See 
Pausan. Y. xxiii. § 1, and compare 
note to book ix. ch. 28. 




tablets, as that dedicated by Mandrocles the Samian in the 
temple of Juno at Samos,^ or of mere ornaments, as those 
wherewith Pericles adorned the P(Bcil6,* would serve as 
striking memorials of particularly important occurrences. 
From these and similar sources of information Herodotus 
would be able to check the accounts orally delivered to him, 
and in some cases to fill them up with accuracy. It has been 
said that he "was by no means so zealous an investigator of 
this class of monuments as might have been desired ; " ^ and 
undoubtedly it would have been highly interesting to ourselves 
had his work contained fuller and more exact descriptions of 
them. But it may be questioned whether his history would 
not have been injured as a composition by a larger infusion of 
the element of antiquarianism. We are not to conclude that 
his inquiries were limited to the monuments, of the contents 
of which he makes distinct mention, since he does not go on 
the general plan of parading the authorities for his statements; 
and, with regard to some of the most important of the monu- 
mental records which he cites, it is only casually and as it 
were by accident that he lets us see he was acquainted with 
them.^ His practice of observing is sufficiently apparent; 
and it is but fair to presume that he carried it to a far greater 
extent than can be exactly proved from his writings. It is 
certain that he visited all the most important of the Greek 
shrines ;® and, when there, his inquisitive turn of mind would 
naturally lead him to make a general examination of the 
offerings. If we view his references to these objects, not as 
intended for an enumeration of all that he had seen, but as a 

* Herod, iv. 88. 

* FMsan. I. XT. 

* Mare's Literatore of Greece, vol. 
IT. p. 812. 

7 If HerodotoB bad not happened, 
in speaking of the desertion to the 
Greek side of a Tenian ressel before 
the battle of Salamis (viii. 82), to 
notice the inscription of the Tenians 
upon the Delphic tripod on that 
account, it might have been donbtfol 
whether he had seen, or noticed, that 

most important monument. In his 
direct account of the dedication of the 
tripod (ix. 81) ho says nothing of its 
having borne any inscription. 

8 As Delphi (i. 14, 19, 25, Ac), Do- 
dona (ii. 52), AbsB (viii. 27), Tspnarum 
(i. 24), Apollo Ismenius at Thebes (i. 
52; V. 59), Juno at Samos (ii. 182; 
iii. 60), Diana at Ephoeus (i. 92), 
Vonus at Cyrano (ii. 181), Erechtheus 
at Athens (viii. 55 ; comp. v, 77), 
Apollo at Thomax (i 69), Sw, 



Lite akd 

set of specimens, indicating the range and general character 
of his inquiries, we shall probably form a far truer estimate 
of his labours in this respect than if we regarded his investi- 
gations as only extending just so far as we can distinctly trace 
them. So, too, with respect to the other class of monuments 
— the public registers, containing the lists of kings, priests, 
archons, &c. — ^it would be a mistake to suppose that he had 
not seen them because he nowhere quotes them as authorities. 
It is impossible that they should have been unknown to him, 
or when known have failed to attract his attention ; and we 
might therefore conclude, even without any evidence direct or 
indirect, that he must have made use of them to some extent. 
As the case stands, we may go a step further, and regard it as 
in the highest degree probable that in tracing the pedigree of 
the Spartan kings to Hercules,® Herodotus followed the author- 
ity of the Lacedsemonian anagraphs ; and if so, we may 
perhaps refer to the same source his general notions of Greek 

The foreign countries whose history Herodotus embraced in 
his general scheme, present in regard to their monumental 
records all possible varieties, from entire defect to the most 
copious abundance. Egypt, Babylonia, and Persia, the most 
important of them, possessed in their inscriptions upon rocks, 
temples, palaces, papyrus-rolls, bricks, and cylinders, a series 
of contemporary documents, extending, in the case of the last- 
mentioned, to the foundation of the monarchy, and in the 
other two going back to a far higher actual date, though not to 
a period so early in the lives of the nations. The recent dis- 
coveries in Mesopotamia, which have so completely authen- 

• Herod, vii. 204 ; riii. 131. 

1 It is erident that Herodotus did 
not obtain his dates from the times of 
Hercnles and of the Trojan war from 
a mere oompntation by generations ; 
for the 21 generations from Leonidas 
to Hercules (rii. 204), reckoned ao. 
oording to his own estimate of three 
generations to the oentniy (ii. 148), 
wonld giTe for ibe tiin« <i the hero 

little more than 700 years before Hero- 
dotos, instead of 900, which is his 
calonlation (ii. 145). He mnst there- 
fore have posseissed some more 
definite chronological basis, which 
may have been famished by the 
Spartan registers, if (as O. M&ller 
eonjectnres. Dor. yoI. i. p. 150) they 
contained not merely the names of the 
kings, but the length of their reigns. 




ticated the historical scheme of Berosus both in its outline and 
its detaOs,' prove that to the Babylonians the history of their 
country as written upon its monuments was open, and could 
be traced back with accuracy for 2000 years before it merged 
into mere myth and fable. In Egypt a still earlier date is said 
to have been reached, and — whatever may be thought of the 
historical character of the more ancient kings — at least from 
the time of the eighteenth dynasty, which is anterior to the 
Exodus of the Jews, the monuments contained contemporary 
records of the several monarchs, and abundant materials for 
an exact and copious history.® In Persia, which, on starting 
into life, succeeded to the inheritance of Assyrian and Baby- 
lonian civilization, writing seems to have been in use from the 
first ; and the sculptured memorials, which still exist, of Cyrus, 
Darius, and Xerxes are evidences of the fact witnessed by 
Herodotus in several places,^ that monumental records were 
in common use under the early Achsemenian kings. These 
seem to have consisted not only of grand public inscriptions 
upon pillars, rocks, tombs, and palaces,^ but also of more 
private and more copious documents, preserved in the trea- 
suries of the empire, at Babylon, Susa, Ecbatana, &c.,' and 
written upon skins or parchment,^ which contained a variety 

' See the EssajB on Babylonian and 
Assyrian History, impended to book i. 
Essays tL and vii. 

' See the Historical Notice of Egypt 
in the Appendix to book ii. 

^ Book iii 136 ; book iv. chs. 87 and 
91 ; bookvii. ch. 100; bookviii. ch. 90. 

* Bock inscriptions of Darius remain 
at Behistnn and at Elwand, near 
Hamadan ; similar memorials of Xer- 
xes are found at Elwand, and at Van 
in Armenia^ The tomb of Darius at 
Nakhsh-i-Bustam has one perfect and 
one imperfect inscription — neither 
howerer, ^yparently, that recorded by 
8trabo (xr. p. 1086). The tomb of 
Cyras had an inscription, as we leam 
both from Strabo (!• >• o.) and Arrian 
(vi. 29 ; see note on book i. oh. 214), 
and the area which enclosed it is still 
marked by pillars on which we read 
the words, " I am Gyms the king — 

the Achssmenian." The great palace 
at Persepolis contains no fewer than 
four inscriptions of Darius and four of 
Xerxes, as well as others belonging to 
later kings. Pillar inscriptions are 
mentioned by Herodotus (iv. 87 and 
91) ; but their more perishable nature 
has caused them generally to dis- 

« See Ezra, v. 17 ; vi 1-2. These 
records or chronicles are frequently 
mentioned by the Jewish historians. 
See, besides the above passages, Ezra 
iv. 15, 19 ; Esther ii. 28 j vi. 1 ; Apoc. 
Esdr. vi. 23. 

^ Ai^cpol $curtKiKai is the name 
under which Ctesias spoke of them 
(ap. Diod Sic. ii. 82). He says they 
contained a regular digest of the an- 
cient Persian history (riis vaXcu&s 
wpd^9tt ffvyTtTCPyfi4yat), and that the 
keeping of them was enforced by law. 



LiFl AlCD 

of details concerning the court and empire, of the greatest 
interest to the historian.® In Scythia, on the other hand, and 
among the rude tribes who inhabited Northern Africa, writing 
of any kind was probably unknown ; and the traditions of .the 
natives were altogether destitute of confirmation from monu- 
mental sources. Other nations occupied an intermediate 
position between these extremes of abundance and want. 
Media from the time of Cyaxares,* Lydia,^ Phrygia,^ and the 
kingdoms of Western Asia generally,® were undoubtedly ac- 
quainted with letters ; but there is no reason to believe that 
they were in possession of any very ancient or very important 

9 Among the oonteuts of the Royal 
Chionioles maj be contidently enume- 
rated all decrees made by any king 
(Ebt. ▼. 17 ; vi. 2-3), all signal services 
of any subject (Esth. vi. 1-2 ; comp. 
HoFod. Till. 85 and 90), catalogues of 
the troops brought into the field on 
great occasions (Herod, vii. 100), 
statements of the amount of reyenue 
to be drawn from each of the provinces 

!comp. Herod, iii. 90-94), Ac. Heeren 
As. Nat. i. p. 86) supposes, that " all 
the king's words and actions " were 
placed upon record, and calls the 
Chronicles "Diaries," but this view 
is not supported by his authorities. 
The royal scribes (yptififjMrurrai) seem 
certainly to have been in constant 
attendance upon the king (see, besides 
Herod, vii. 100, and viii. 90, Esther 
iii. 12, and yiii. 9), and were ready 
to record any remarkable occurrence ; 
but it is not probable that they 
were bound to enter the events of 
each day. 

• No strictly Median records have 
oome down to us, nor have we positive 
proof of any acquaintance on the part 
of the Medes with letters. The 
ancient portions of the Zendavesta, 
which belonged to them in common 
with other nations of the Arian stock, 
were certainly handed down by 
memory. But it can hardly be sup- 
posed that after the conquest of 
Assyria by Cyaxares, the Medes would 
remain without an alphabet. Prob- 
ably the Persian alphabet is that 

framed by the Arian Medes on coming 
in contact with the Assyrians. The 
Persians would naturally adopt it from 
them on their conquest of Media. 

* No Lydian inscriptions have been 
as yet discovered, though the tomb of 
Alyattes, which had inscriptions in 
the time of Herodotus (i. 93), has 
been carefully explored (see note * to 
book i. ch. 93). The Lydians, how- 
ever are likely to have used letters at 
least as early as the Asiatic Greeks. 

• Several Phrygian inscriptions, 
chiefly epitaphs, have been discovered 
in this country. They are all prob- 
ably more ancient than the Persian 
conquest of Asia Minor. The only 
one of much importance is the inscrip- 
tion on the tomb of king Midas at 
Doganlu. (See note • on book i. ch. 
14, and compare Appendix to Book i., 
Essay xi.) 

> As Lycia, Cilicia, and Armenia. 
The Lycian writing appears on coins 
and inscriptions, which are abundant, 
but which seem to be none earlier 
than the time of Croesus (Fellows^s 
Lycian Coins ; Chronolog. Table) . 
Cilician writing is found on coins 
only. Armenia has some important 
rock inscriptions. They are found in 
the neighbourhood of Van, and belong 
to a dynasty of native kings, who 
appear to have reigned during the 
seventh and eighth centuries B.C. 
(See Col. RawUnson's Commentary 
on the Cuneiform Inscriptions of 
Babylonia and Assyria, p. 75.) 




written records. Monumental remains of an early date in 
these countries are either entirely deficient, or at best extremely 
scanty, and such of them as possessed a native literature 
betrayed, by the absurdity and mythic character of their 
annals, a lamentable want of authentic materials for their 
early history.* Our chief inquiry in the present place will 
therefore be how far Herodotus, or those from whom he 
derived his information, may be presumed to have had access 
to the monumental stores which existed in such abundance 
in Egypt, Babylon, and in various parts of the Persian empire, 
and from which, in two cases out of the three, authentic his- 
tories were actually composed more than a century later by 
natives of the countries in question.* 

With regard to Egypt, Herodotus has distinctly stated that 
his informants were the priests.' The sacerdotal body 
attached to the service of the temple of Phtha at Memphis 
furnished him with the bulk of his early Egyptian history ; 
and he was further at the pains to test the accounts which he 
received from this quarter by seeking information on the 
same points from the priests of Amun at Thebes, and of Ha 
at Heliopolis. It may perhaps be questioned whether he 
obtained access to the ecclesiastics of the highest rank and 
greatest learning in Egypt, or only to certain subordinates and 
underlings; but even in the latter case he would draw his 
narrative from persons to whom the monumental history of 
their country was open ; for this history was recorded without 
concealment upon the temples and other public edifices. 
What prevented his Egyptian history from having a greater 
character of authenticity was, not the ignorance, but the 
dishonesty of his informants, who purposely exaggerated the 
glories of their nation, and concealed its disgraces and defeats. 
It is periiaps on the whole more likely that he had his 

^ The fragments of XanthnB Lydns 
prove the Ljdian axuuJa to have run 
up into myth at a time not mnoh pre- 
ceding Gyg^. The Armenian his. 
tories of Hoses of Ghor6n^ and others, 
are yet more completely fabulous. 

* By ICanetho the Sebennyte, and 
Berosos the Babylonian, botfi oontem- 
poraries of Alexander. 

* Herod, u. 8, 99, 118, 136, 142, 




historical information from the highest than firom any inferior 
quarter. His own rank and station, the circmnstances under 
which he visited Egypt,^ his entire satisfaction with his in- 
formation,® and the harmony which he found in the accounts 
given him in remote places,® all seem to favour the supposi- 
tion that he obtained access to the chief persons in the 
Egyptian hierarchy, who however took advantage of his sim- 
plicity and ignorance of the language, whether spoken or 
written,^ to impose upon him such a history of their country 
as they wished to pass current among the Greeks. Accord- 
ingly they magnified their antiquity beyond even their own 
notions of it,^ reading him long lists of monarchs whom they 
represented as consecutive, whereas they knew them to have 
been often contemporary. They concealed from him altogether 
the dark period in their history — the time of their oppression 
under the Hyksos, or shepherd-kings — of which he obtained 
but a single dim and indistinct gUmpse,® not furnished him 

f Snprk, p. 13. 

* Herodotus calls his informants 
throughout " the priests " — not ** cer- 
tain priests." It belongs to his sim- 
plici^ to use no exaggeration in such 
a matter. Again, he goes to Helio> 
polis because the priests there were 
Kiywrittv koyi^raroij and re- 
ceives information from those whom 
he so characterises (ii. 8). 

* See ii. 4. &d« t\9yo¥ SfioKO' 
yiovrts c^ivi. As this harmony was 
not the natural agreement of truth, 
it could only be the artificial agree- 
ment of concerted falsehood. The 
priests of Memphis must have prepared 
their brethren of Thebes and Heliopolis 
for the inquiries of the curious Greek, 
and have instructed them as to the 
answers which they should give. Such 
communications would most naturally 
take place between the leading mem- 
bers 6t the sacerdotal coUeges. 

1 That Herodotus did not under- 
■tand the written character, is evident 
from his mentioning that the inscrip- 
tion on the pyramid of Cheope was 
translated to him by his interpreter 
(ii 126). His ignoranoe of the spoken 

language appears from his mistrans- 
lations of particular words, as of Pir6- 
mis, which he renders "gentleman" 
(iroX^s KkyaB6i)y whereas it meant 
simply " man '* or ** human being." 

* See Herod, u. 100 and 142, 143. 
By representing their priests as 
equally numerous with their kings, 
and declaring the priesthood to have 
descended in the direct line from 
father to son, the Memphite inform- 
ants of Herodotus gave him the notion 
that a settled monarchy had endured 
in Egypt for above 11,000 years. 
Their own records, even making no 
allowance for contemporary longs or 
dynasties, gave a total of little more 
than 5000 years; and (according to 
Syncellus) Manetho, making some 
allowance on both scores, reduced the 
time between Menes and Herodotus 
to less than 8500 years. 

' In the tradition, noticed in book 
ii. ch. 128, that the pyramids were 
the work of " the ahephird Philiticm " ' 
(see note ad loo.). This tradition,' 
which conflicted with the account re- 
ceived from the priests, is ascribed by 
Herodotus to " the Egyptians." 




apparently by the priests, bnt by the memory of the people. 
They knowingly falsified their monuments by assigning a late 
date to the pyramid-kings,* whom they disliked, by which 
they flattered themselves that they degraded them. They 
distorted the true narrative of Sennacherib's miraculous 
discomfiture, and made it tend to the glorification of one of 
their own body.' They succeeded in concealing all other 
invasions of their territory by the kings of Assyria and 
Babylon, even when subsequent to the settlement of the 
Greeks in their country.* Again, they were willing, in order 
to flatter their Greek allies, to bend their history into accord- 
ance with the mythology of the Hellenic race, and submitted 
even to manufacture a monarch for the express purpose of 
accommodating their inquisitive friends.^ Thus in spite of 
the abundance of monumental records from which the 
Egyptian informants of our author had it in their power to 
draw, his Egyptian history is full of error, because they in- 
tentionally garbled and falsified their own annals, while he^ 
from his ignorance of their language, was unable to detect the 
imposture.® Still, where national vanity or other special 
causes did not interfere, the history will be found to be fairly 
authentic. The kings themselves appear, with but one or 
two exceptions,^ in the lists of Manetho, and upon the monu- 
ments; the chronological order of their reigns is preserved 
with a single dislocation;^ the periods of prosperity and 

* Herod. iL 124-9. Ilie priests 
Beem to have placed the pjramid- 
kingns — who really interrened between 
Menes and Nitocris — as late as they 
oonld Tentore to do without incurring 
a great risk of detection. As a re- 
markable inscription of Asychis 
(Herod, ii. 186) made express mention 
of the stone pyramids, it would have 
been rash to state that their bnilders 
Hved later than that monarch. 

» Sethos (Herod, ii. 141). 

' As that of Nebuchadneszar in the 
reign of Apries (Joseph. Ant. Jnd. z. 
10 ; Beroe. Fr. 14 ; compare Jerem. 
zlTi. 25^ ; Ssek. zxix. 19 ; xxz. 24-5). 
Serenil of the Assyrian monarchs, be- 

sides Sennacherib, attacked or received 
tribnte from Egypt, as Sardanapalns 
I., Sargon, Esar-Haddon, and his son. 

^ Proteus, a name which bears no 
resemblance to any of those in 
Manetho's lists. 

' It may be donbted whether even 
the interpreters could read the hiero- 
glyphics. Most probably they only 
nnderstood the demotic character. 

• Froteos, Anysis, and Sethos are the 
only monarchs whose names cannot 
be recognised among Manetho's kings. 
One of these (Anysis) can be otherwise 
identified. He is certainly Bocohoris. 

* That of the pyramid-kings. See 
note* above. 



oppression are truly marked;^ the great works are assigned 
for the most part to their real authors ; even the extravagance 
of the chronology is not without an historic basis, marking as 
it does the fact, confirmed by Manetho, that the Egyptians 
could produce a catalogue of several hundred persons who 
had borne the title of king in their country between Menes 
and the Bamesside monarchs.^ Hence, when the monuments 
are silent, and the statements of Herodotus are not incom- 
patible with those of Manetho, they possess considerable 
weight, and may fairly be accepted as having at least a 
basis of truth. They come from persons who had means of 
knowing the real history of their country, and who did not 
falsify it wantonly or unless to serve a purpose : they may 
therefore be taken to be correct in their general outline except 
where they subserve national vanity or have otherwise a 
suspicious appearance. On these grounds the reign of Sethos 
in some part of Egypt, and the dodecarchy, for which Hero- 
dotus is the sole authority, may perhaps be entitled to rank as 
historic facts, though unconfirmed by other writers.* 

In Babylon Herodotus appears to have obtained some of his 
information from the Ghaldseans attached to the temple of 
Belus,* who were persons to whom the real history of their 
native land must undoubtedly have been familiar. It is hojjfc. 
ever very doubtful whether he derived much of his information 

* The glory of the Bamesside dynas- 
ties (19th and 20th of Manetho) is 
distinotly indicated by the expeditions 
of Sesostris and the wealth of Rhamp- 
Binitns. The sufferings at the time of 
the Exodus seem to be mythically 
expressed by the blindness of Phero. 
The oppression endured under the 
pyramid builders is undoubtedly a fact. 
The decline of the empire under the 
Tanite kings is marked by the general 
poverty in the reign of Asychis. 

' Manetho has between four and tive 
hundred kings during this interval. 
With a deduction on account of two 
peculiarly suspicious cases (Dyn. 7. 
70 kings, in 70 daysj and Dyn. 17. 

43 kings, shepherds, and 43 kings, 
Thebans), the number remaining is 
354, a near approach to the 330 of 

* Since the first edition of this work 
was published, a discovery has been 
made, confirming very remarkably one 
of these Herodotean statements. The 
annals of Esar-Haddon's son and suc- 
cessor show that Egypt was actually 
split up in his time into as many as 
twenty KmgdomR. Herodotus is thus 
shown to be quite right as to his 
general fact, and only incorrect as to 
the exact number. 

' See Herod, i. 181, sub fin. and 183. 




from this quarter.* His Babylonian history may be said to 
be correct in outline/ and tolerably exact in certain important 
particulars.* Still it contains some most remarkable mis- 
takes,* which seem to show either that the persons from whom 
he derived his materials were not well versed in their country's 
annals, or that he misunderstood thefr conmiunications. The 
mistakes in question, it is worthy of special remark, unlike 
those which disfigure his Egyptian history, occur in the most 
recent portion of the narrative, where conscious falsification 
would have been most easy of detection, and therefore least 
likely to have been adventured on. It seems probable that 
Herodotus paid but a single hasty visit to the Mesopotamian 
capital, and when there he may have found a difficulty in 
obtaining a qualified interpreter.^ He would also, as a 
Greek, be destitute of any particular claim on the attention 

' The onlj inf ormation expressly as- 
cribed to the Chaldsans consists of 
details respecting the temple of Belns. 
Herodotus does not say whence he 
derived his historical materials. 

' Carrying back Babylonian history 
for some seven hnndred years, he 
noticed, in the first place, two periods ; 

le — the first — doring which it was 

der Assyria, yet hf^ sovereigns of 
its own, like Semiramis (i. 184) ; the 
other, daring which it was independ- 
ent (i. 106, 178). The period of in- 
dependence he knew to be little more 
than two generations (compare i. 74 
and 188) ; — that of subjection he was 
aware exceeded six centuries. This 
latter he also divided (as Berosus 
does) into two portions, a longer, and 
a shorter one ; while Assyria was a 
great empire, and while she was only 
a powerful kingdom. This division 
appears to correspond to the Upper 
and Lower Assyrian dynasties of Be- 

' As in the duration of the first As- 
syrian dynasty— where his 520 vears 
(i. 95) manifestly represent the (more 
exact) 526 years of Berosus (ap. Euscb. 
Chron. Can. pars 1. cap. iv.) ; in the 
oommencement of the independence 
an the deatmction of Nineveh (i. 178) ; 

in the name of the last king (Laby. 
netus=Nabunahit), and the circum- 
stances of the capture of Babylon (i. 
191) ; in the time of Semiramis (i. 184), 

• Particularly the following: — 1. That 
LabynetuB (Nahunahit) was the son of 
a former king, and of a queen (Nito- 
cris) ; 2. That he immediately suc- 
ceeded the latter ; 3. That the Baby- 
lonian monarch, contemporary with 
Cyaxarcs, was also named Labynetns ; 
4. That he was the father of the last 
kiug ; and 5. Tliat queens ever ruled 
at Babylon in their own name. 

* The Greek refugees in Persia 
would study Persian, the official lan- 
guage, rather than any other. The 
Chalda^ans on the other hand would 
speak the Semitic dialect of the in- 
scriptions, and understand the ancient 
Scythic language of their country, but 
would have little knowledge of Persian. 
The communications between Hero- 
dotus and the Chaldsean priests would 
be much like those which take place 
now-a-days between inquisitive Euro- 
pean travellers and grave Pekin Man- 
darins, through the intervention of 
some foreign settler at Canton, who 
has picked up a slight smattering of 
the local colloquial dialect. 



Lira AND 

of the Babylonian savans, and he would therefore naturally be 
left to pick up the bulk of his information firom those who made 
a living by showing the town and its remarkable buildings to 
strangers. The quality of the historical information possessed 
by such informants may be judged by the reader's experience 
of this class of persons at the present day. Herodotus no 
doubt endeavoured to penetrate into a more learned circle, 
but the Babylonians of the time would have been destitute of 
any of those motives, whether of gratitude or of self-interest, 
which induced the Egyptian priests to lay aside their reserve, 
and consent to gratify the curiosity of their Greek auxiliaries. 
It must be confessed at any rate, that in the Babylonian 
history of our author we find but few traces of that exact and 
extensive knowledge of their past condition which the Chal- 
dsBan priest-caste certainly possessed, and which enabled 
Berosus, more than a centiury later, to produce a narrative, 
extending over a space of above fifteen hundred years, which 
has been lately confirmed in numerous instances by contem- 
porary documents, and which appears to have been most 
completely authentic. 

The Persian informants of Herodotus seem to have consisted 
of the soldiers and officials of various ranks, with whom he 
necessarily came in contact at Sardis and other places, where 
strong bodies of the dominant people were maintained con- 
stantly. He was bom and bred up a Persian subject; and 
though in his own city Persians might be rare visitants, every- 
where beyond the limits of the Grecian states they formed the 
official class, and in the great towns they were even a con- 
siderable section of the population.^ This would be the case 
not only in Asia Minor, but still more in Babylon and Susa, 
where the court passed the greater portion of the year — both 
which cities Herodotus seems to have visited.^ There is no 

* See Herod, v. 100-1 ; vi. 4 and 20. 

' The visit of Herodotus to Babylon, 
although doubted by some, is (I think) 
certain, not merely from the minute- 
ness of hifl desoriptioiis (i. 178-183), 

but from several little touches; e. g. 
1. The expression in ch. 183, ''as the 
Chaldseans aoAd" {«$ K\9yo¥ ol 
XoXSoibi), which can only mean " as 
they told me when I was there,** 2, 




reason to believe that he ever set foot in Persia Proper, or 
was in a country where the Arian element preponderated. 
Hence his mistakes with regard to the Persian religion,^ which 
he confounded with the Scythic worship of Snsiana, Armenia, 
and Cappadocia. Still he would enjoy abnndant opportunities 
of making himself acquainted with the yiews entertained on 
the subject of their previous history by the Persians themselves 
— ^firom his ready access to them in his earlier years, from the 
number of Greeks who understood their langu§i,ge, and, above 
all, from the existence of native historians to whose works he 
had access.^ The Persians, from the date of their conquest of 
the Medes, possessed (as has been already shown ^) a variety 
of authentic documents, increasing in number and copiousness 
with the descent to more recent times, and capable of serving 
as a solid basis for history. Moreover, their entire annals at 
the time when Herodotus wrote were comprised within a space 
of little more than a century — about the same distance which 
separates the Englishman of the present day from the re- 
bellion of 1746 — a period for which even oral tradition is a 
tolerably safe guide. We might have expected under these 
circumstances a more purely historic narrative of the events 
in question, and a greater correctness, if not a greater ampli- 
tude of detail,^ than the work of Herodotus is found in fact to 

Tbe remark in the same chapter with 
regard to the oolossal statne of Bel, 
made of solid gold (eomp. Dan. iii. 1), 
which once stood in the sacred en- 
cloeore of the great temple of Bel as — 
'* I did fwt tee it" {iyif fiiv fuw ovk 
cKor), which has no force nor fitness 
except in contrast to the other things 
prerionslj described, which he mnst 
mean to saj that he did see ; and 8. 
The statement in ch. 198, that he re- 
frained from mentioning the siso of 
the millet and sesame plants, because 
he knew that tKyse who had not visited 
the wuutry woold not believe what he 
bad prerioosly related of the produce. 
The risit to Snsa rests mainly on ri. 
119: it receiyes, however, some con- 
flrmati<in from the aooonnt of the rojal 
road as far as that capital in t. 52. 

* See the essay ** On the Beligion of 
the Ancient Persians." 

^ See especially book i. ch. 1 ; and 
compare i. 95, and 214 sub fin. See 
also p. 49 of this chapter. 

• Suprd^ p. 55. 

' The early history of Cyrus in Hero- 
dotus is purely romanca — his treat- 
ment of Crcesus, and the manner of 
his own death, seem to be fabulous ; — 
in the history of Cambyses and of the 
pscndo-Smerdis are several important 
errors ; — the debate among the con- 
spirators as to the best form of govern- 
ment, and the story of CEbares, are 
most certainly fictions ; so probably 
are the stories of Syloson and Zopyrus ; 
— the circumstances of the expedition 
of Darius against Scythia are probably 
exaggerated. It is not till the time of 



supply. The deficiency is traceable to two causes. Among 
the Persians, then as now, the critical judgment was far less 
developed than the imagination; and their historians, or 
rather chroniclers {\6yiai)y delighted to diversify with all 
manner of romantic circumstances the history of their earlier 
kings. This was especially the case with Cyrus, the hero- 
founder of the empire, whose adventures were narrated with 
vast exaggeration and immense variety.® Herodotus too was 
by natural temperament inclined to look with favour on the 
poetical and the marvellous, and where he had to choose 
between a number of conflicting stories would be disposed to 
reject the prosaic and commonplace for the romantic and 
extraordinary. Thus he may often have accepted an account 
which to modems seems palpably untrue when the authentic 
version of the story came actually under his cognisance. In 
other cases he may have pieced together the sober relations of 
writers who drew from the monuments, and the lively inven- 
tions of romancers, not perceiving the superiority of the 
former.® Thus his narrative, where it can be compared with 
the Persian monumental records, presents the curious con- 
trast of minute and exact agreement in some parts with broad 
and striking diversity in others — ^the diversity being chiefly in 
those points where there is the most of graphic colouring and 
highly-wrought description — the agreement being in names, 
dates, and the general outline of the results attained as dis- 
tinguished from the mode in which they were accompUshed.^ 

the Ionian revolt that the Persian 
history becomes fnlly trustworthy. 
Among the omissions which most sur- 
prise ns are those of the Sacan and 
Bactrian wars of Cyrus, the reduction 
of Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Cilicia by 
Cambysos; the revolt of the Modes 
from Darius; and his conquest of a 
part of India. 

^ As Herodotus himself indicates. 
See i. 95 and 214. 

^ Hence arise contradictions, as that 
in the Scythian war of Darius, where 
the time during which the Persians 
are actually in the country, and the 

time which such a march as that CkS- 
signed them must have occupied, are 
widely at vanojice. See note to book 
iv. ch. 133. 

* The period of Persian history for 
which alone this comparison is at pre- 
sent possible, is that intervening be- 
tween the death of Smerdis and the 
(second) recovery of Babylon by 
Darius, where the Behistun inscrip- 
tion furnishes a running comment 
upon the third book of Herodotus. 
Here the name of Smerdis, his secret 
execution by his brother, the expe- 
dition into Egypt, the buroting out of 


Unfortunately a direct comparison of this kind can but rarely 
be made, owing to the scantiness of the Persian records at 
present discovered ; but we are justified in assuming from the 
coincidences actually observable, that at least some of his 
authorities drew their histories from the monuments ; and it 
even seems as if Herodotus had himself had access to certain 
of the most important of those documents which were pre- 
served in the archives of the empire. It is not altogether 
easy to understand how this could have been brought about, 
but perhaps it is possible that either at Babylon or at Susa 
he may have obtained Greek transcripts of the records in 
question, or copies may have existed in the satrapial treasury 
of Sardis, in which ease his acquaintance with them would 
cease to be surprising. The instances to which reference is 
especially intended are the account of the satrapies of Darius 
and the revenue drawn from them in the third book, and the 
catalogue of the army of Xerxes in the seventh. These are 

the Ttfftg*!^ reyolntion while he was 
there, the death of Cambyses on hear- 
ing of the perolt, the qniet enjoyment 
of the crown for a while by the Pseudo- 
Smerdis, his personation of the son of 
Cyras, the sudden arrival of Darius, 
his 9i» companions, their names with 
one exception, the violent death of the 
pretender, the period of trouble which 
followed, the rerolt and reduction of 
Babylon within a few years, are all 
correctly stated by our author, whose 
principtJ misstatements are the fol- 
lowing : — 1. The execution of Smerdis 
(Bardius) after the commencement of 
the Egyptian expedition, which he 
connects with the story of his drawing 
the Ethiopian bow (Herod, iii. 30) ; 
2. The attack of the conspirators upon 
the Magi in the palace at Susa^ and the 
struggle there (chs. 76-9) ; 3. The de- 
bate on the form of government, and 
the question who shovdd be king (chs. 
80-7) ; 4. The Median character of the 
rey<4ution ; and 5. The whole story of 
the mode in which Babylon was re- 
covered. He also mistakes the real 
name of the Magus, which he supposes 
to have been Smerdis. The full value 
and extent of our author^s correctness 

are best estimated by contrast with 
the writer who, having had every 
opportonity of gaining exact informa- 
tion, professed to correct the errors of 
one whom he did not scruple to call 
"a lying chronicler" (ap. Phot. Bibl. 
Cod. Lxxii. ad init.). Ctesias names 
the brother of Cambyses, Tanyoxarcos ; 
does not allow that Cambyses wont 
into Egypt ; makes him die at Babyhm 
of an accidental hurt which ho had 
given himself ; places the Magian re- 
volution after his death ; corrupts the 
names of two out of the six con8])i- 
rators, and entirely changes the naiues 
of the other four ; follows Herodotus 
in his account of the death of the 
Magus and of the mode in which 
Darius became king ; gives the name 
of the Magus as Sphendadates ; and 
regards the whole struggle as ono 
purely personal. On one point only 
does Ctesias improve upon his pre- 
decessor — in denying that the Zopyms 
story belongs to the capture of Babylon 
by Darius. Even here, however, it 
may be doubted whether, in referring 
it to the capture by Xerxes, he does 
not replace one fable by another. 




exactly such documents as the royal archives would contain ; 
and they have a character of minuteness and completeness 
which makes it evident that they are not the mere result of 
such desultory inquiries as Herodotus might have been able to 
make in the different coimtries where he travelled. If then 
these are actual Persian documents,* we may conclude that 
the Persian history of Herodotus, at least from the accession 
of Darius, is based in the main upon authentic national 
records; and this conclusion is borne out as well by the 
general probability of the narrative as by its agreement in 
certain minute points with monumental and other evidence.^ 

It results from this entire review that in all the countries 
with which the history of Herodotus was at all vitally con- 
cerned there existed monumental records, accessible to himself 
or his informants, of an authentic and trustworthy character.* 
These were of course less plentiful for the earlier times, and in 
Greece especially such records were but scanty ; enough how- 
ever existed everywhere to serve as a considerable check upon 
the wanderings of mere oral tradition, and prevent it for the 
most part from straying very far from the truth. These 
documents were in the case of foreign countries sealed books 
to Herodotus, who had no power of reading any language but 
his own;^ his informants, however, were acquainted with 

* See Heeren'8 As. Nat. toI. i. pp. 97 
and 441. E. T. 

• The length of the reign of Cam- 
byses is confirmed by the Oanon of 
Ptolemy — the fact thiU; Darins became 
king in his father's lifetime (iiL 72), 
by the Behistnn inscription — the re- 
Tolt of the Medes from Darins (i. 130), 
by the same document — the oonqnest 
of India in the reign of Darins, by a 
comparison of the list of provinces in 
the inscriptions of Behistnn and* Per- 
sepolis — itkB Scythian expedition by 
the tomb-inscription at Nakhsh-i- 
Bostam — the length of Darins's reign 
hy the Oanon, and by Manetho. It is 
Worthy of notice that Ctesias misstates 
the length both of this and the pre- 
oeding rmgni assigning to Gambyses 
18 jetsn, and to Darins 31 (Persic. 

Exo. §§12 and 19). The order of the 
chief erents in the reign of Darins is 
confirmed by a comparison of the three 
inscriptions above mentioned, of which 
the Behistnn is clearly the earliest, 
and the tomb-inscription the latest. 

* If any exceptions need to be made, 
they would be those of Lydia and 
Media. The Medes had no history — 
probably no letters — prior to Cyaxares, 
who led them into Media Magna from 
beyond the Caspian. The Lydian tra- 
ditions ran np into myth shortly be- 
fore the time of Gyges. 

' There is an appearance of lingnistic 
knowledge in Herodotus, which may 
seem to militate against this view. 
He frequently introduces and explains 
foreign words (i. 110, 192 j ii. 2, 30, 
46, 69, 77, 81, 94, 148 ; iv. 27, 69, 110, 




them, and thus a great portion of their contents found its way 
into his pages. Occasionally he was able to obtain an entire 
state-paper, and to transfer it bodily into his work ; but more 
commonly he drew his information from men, thus deriving 
his knowledge of the more ancient times at second-hand. 
Conscious of his absolute dependence in such cases on the 
truthfcdness of his authorities, he endeavoured everywhere to 
derive his information from those best skilled in the history 
of their native land ; • but here he was met by many difficulties 
— some received his advances coldly, others wilfully misled 
him — a few made him welcome to their stores, but in those 
stores the historical and the romantic were so blended 
together, that it was beyond his power to disentangle them. 
The consequence is that in the portion of his history which 
has reference to foreign countries and to more ancient times, 
the most valuable truths and the merest fables he often side 
by side. He is at the mercy of his informants, and is com- 
pelled to repeat their statements, even where he does not 
beUeve them. In Greece itself, and in other countries as he 
comes nearer to his own time, his information is better and 
more abundant ; he is able to sift and compare statements, to 
balance the weight of evidence, and to arrive at conclusions 
which are probably in the main correct. The events related 
in his last five books were but httle removed from his own 
day, and with regard to these he has almost the authority of 
a contemporary historian ; for his informants must have been 
chiefly persons engaged in the transactions. His own father 
would most hkely have witnessed and may have taken part in 
the Ionian insurrection, which preceded the birth of Herodotus 
by less than fifteen years. The subsequent events must have 
been famihar to all the elder men of his acquaintance, 
Marathon being no further removed from him than Waterloo 

155, 192 ; tL 98, 119 ; viii. 85, 98 ; ix. planatione are often so bad as to show 

110), and readily pronounces on simi- his complete ignorance rather than his 

larity or identity of langnapfe (i. 57, knowledj^e of the tongues in question. 

172; ii 105; iv.ll7,&c.). But in the (See notes on PirAmis, ii 143 ; and on 

latter case he seems to have trusted the names of the Persian kings, vi. 98.) 

to his ear, and in the former his ex- • Cf . i. 1, 95, 1813 j ii. 3, &c. 


from ourselves, and Salamis being as near as Navarino. He 
would find then in the memory of living men abundant 
materials for an authentic account of those matters on which 
it was his special object to write ; and if a want of trustworthy 
sources from which to draw is to be brought forward as 
detracting from the value of his work, it must at any rate be 
conceded that the objection lies, not against the main narra- 
tive, but against the introductory portion, and even there 
rather against the episodes wherein he ventures to trace the 
ancient history of some of the chief countries brought into 
contact with Persia, than against the thread of narration by 
which these ambitious efforts are connected with the rest of 
the treatise. The episodes themselves must be judged separ- 
ately, each on its own merits. The traditions of the Scyths, 
of the Medes before Cyaxares, of Lydia before Gyges, and of 
all countries without a literature, must be received with the 
greatest caution, and regarded as having the least possible 
weight. But the accounts of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, 
and the various states of Greece, having been derived in part 
from monuments and otherwise from those who possessed 
access to monuments, deserve throughout attentive consider- 
ation. They may from various causes often be incorrect in 
particulars ; but they may be expected to be true in outline ; 
and in their details they may not unfrequently embody the 
contents of authentic documents existing at the time when 
Herodotus wrote, but now irrecoverably lost to us. Critical 
judgment must separate in them the probable from the im- 
probable : but whatever comes under the former head, and is 
not contradicted by better authority, may well be received as 
historical, at least until fr6sh discoveries shall at once dis- 
prove their truth, and supply us with more authentic details 
to substitute in their place. 




Meritfl of Herodotus as an historian : 1. Diligence. 2. Honesty — Failure of all 
attacks on his Yeracity. 8. Impartiality — Charges of prejudice — Bemark- 
able instances of candour. 4. Political dispassionateness. 5. Freedom 

from national vanity. Defects as an historian : 1. Credulity — Belief in 

omens, oracles, dreams, &c. — Theory of Divine Nemesis — Marvels in 
Nature. 2. Spirit of exaggeration — Anecdotes. 3. Want of accuracy — 
Discrepancies — Repetitions — Loose chronology, Ac. 4. Want of historical 
insight — Confusion of occasions with causes — Defective geography — 

Absurd meteorology — Mythology — Philology. Merits as a writer: 1, 

Unity — Scope of the work. 2. Clever management of the episodes — 
Question of their relevancy. 8. Skill in character-drawing — The Persians 
— The Spartans — ^the Athenians — Persian and Spartan kings: Themis- 
tocles — Aristides — Greek Tyrants : CrcBSUS — Amasis — Nitocris — Tomyris, 
Ac. 4. Dramatic power. 6. Pathos. 6. Humour. 7. Variety. 8. Pictorial 
description 9. Simplicity. 10. Beauty of style. Conclusion. 

In forming our estimate of an historical writer two things 
have to be considered — the value of his work as an authentic 
exposition of the facts with which he deals, and its character 
as a comi)osition. On the former head some remarks have 
been already made while we have been treating of the sources 
from which the history of Herodotus seems to have been 
derived ; but a more prolonged and detailed consideration of 
it will be now entered on, with special reference to the quaU- 
fications of the writer, which have been very variously 
estimated by different critics. It is plain that however ex- 
cellent the sources from which Herodotus had it in his power 
to draw, the character of his history for authenticity, and so 
its real value, will depend mainly on his possession or non- 
possession of certain attributes which alone entitle an his- 
torian to be Ustened to as an authority. 

The primary requisites for an historian — given the posses- 
sion of ordinary capacity — are honesty and diligence. The 


latter of these two qualities no one has ever denied to our 
author. Perhaps, however, scarcely sufficient credit has been 
allowed him for that ardent love of knowledge, that unwearied 
spirit of research, which led him in disturbed and perilous 
times to undertake at his own cost a series of journeys over 
almost, all parts of the known world ^ — the aggregate of which 
cannot have amounted to less than from ten to fifteen thou- 
sand miles — for the sole purpose of deri^'ing, as far as possible, 
from the fountain-head, that information concerning men and 
places which he was bent on putting before his readers. 
Travelling in the age of Herodotus had not ceased to be that 
laborious task which had exalted in primitive times the 
•'much-travelled man*' into a hero.* The famous boast of 
Democritus ^ has a moral as well as an intellectual bearing, 
and is a claim ui)on the respect no less than upon the atten- 
tion of his countrymen. At the period of which we are 
speaking no one journeyed for pleasure ; and it required either 
lust of gain or the strongest thirst for knowledge to induce 
persons to expose themselves to the toils, hardships, and 
dangers which were then attendant upon locomotion, par- 
ticularly in strange countries. We may regret that the 
journeys of Herodotus were sometimes imdertaken for objects 
which do not seem to us commensurate with the time and 
lalxnir which they must have cost,* and that in other 
instances, where the object was a worthy one, they were 
baulked of the fruit which he might fairly have expected them 
to Ivar ; * but it would be unjust to withhold from him the 
meed of our approval for the activity and zeal which could 
take him from Egypt to Tyre, and from Tyre to Thasos, to 
dear up a point of antiquarianism of no importance to his 
general history; and which, again, could carry him from 

^ Vide raprk, ptp. 9-11. < ijfBpttwtm yiiw TXc/onir hrwwXawticdufir, 

* 8ee tbe opening of the OdrmeT ; leropiw^ tA iiitKi^rm * jcal mdpms cai y4as 
and ccnnpnre UtniL Ep. I. il 19-£i ; wkuon-as cISor • cr jl 

A. P. 141. 8ee also X'u^, J^ i. 7. ! « S^ book ii. ch. 4k 

* An. CkB. Aleandr. (Stxom. I. i * Ibid. rh. 3. 
pi M7.) *Ert^ U rm^ net' ifm^rhm I 




Memphis to Heliopolis, and then up the Nile, nine days' 
journey, to Thebes, for the mere purpose of testing the 
veracity of his Memphitic informants. We must also adinire 
that indefatigable inquisitiveness — ^not perhaps very agreeable 
to those who were its objects — ^which was constantly drawing 
from all persons with whom he came into contact whatever 
information they possessed concerning the history or pecu- 
liarities of their native land or the countries where they had 
travelled.^ The painstaking laboriousness with which his 
materials were collected is marked by that term whereby he 
designated its results, viz. 'laropiri — which is not really equi- 
valent tooiu: ** history," but signifies "investigation" or ** re- 
search," and so properly characterises a narrative of which 
diligent inquiry has formed the basis. 

The honesty of Herodotus has not passed unchallenged. 
Several ancient writers,^ among them two of considerable 
repute, Ctesias the court-physician to Artaxerxes Mnemon, 
and Plutarch, or rather an author who has made free with his 
name, have impeached the truthfulness of the historian, and 

* HerodotoB enamerates among his 
informants, besides Persians, Egyp- 
tians, and Chaldssans, the Scythians 
(iT. 5, 24), the Pontine Greeks (iv. 8, 
18, 24, Ac), the Tauri (iv. 103), the 
ColchianB (ii. 104), the Bithynians 
(rii. 75), the Thraoians (v. 10), the 
Lydians (iv. 45), the Carians (i. 171), 
the Caonians (i. 172), the Cyprians 
(L 105 ; vii 90, Ac.), the Phcenioians 
(L 5), the Tyrian priests (il 44), the 
Medes (vii 62), the Arabians (iii. 
108), the Ammonians (iii 26), the 
Cyrenseans (iv. 154), the Carthagin- 
ians (iv. 48), the Syracusans (vii 
167), and other Sioiliots (vii. 165), the 
Crotoniats (v. 44), the Sybarites 
(ibid.), the priesteaaes at Dodona (ii. 
53), the Corinthians (i. 23), the Lace- 
dadmonians (i 70, Ac), the Argives 
(v. 87), the Bginetans (v. 86), the 
Athenians (v. 63, Ao.), the Gephy- 
rseans (v. 57), the Theesalians (vii. 
129), the Macedonians (viii 138), the 
Heilespontine Greeks (iv. 95), the 

Lesbians (i. 23), the Samians (i. 70), 
the Delians (vi. 98), the lonians (ii. 
15), the Cretans (i 171), the Therseans 
(iv. 150), Ac. Ac. 

"^ Manetho, the Egyptian historian, 
is said to have written a book against 
Herodotus (Etym. Magn. s. v. Atoyro- 
K6fjL05). Another was composed by 
Harpocration, * On the False State- 
ments made by Hcrodotns in his His- 
tory* (ncpl rod Kart^^fvffBcu r^v 
'Hpoi6Tov l<7Toptav. See Soidas ad 
voc. 'AfnroKparitity.) Josephus (contr. 
Ap. i 3) asserts that aU Greek 
writers admitted Herodotus to be 
generally untruthful (^i' raiis irktiarots 
^tvS6fi€yoy), Laertius notes certain 
tales which were taxed with falsity 
(Proem. § 9). Theopompus (Fr. 
29), Strabo (jd. 740, 771, Ac), 
Lucian (Yer. Hist. ii. 42), Cicero (De 
Leg. i. 1 ; De Div. ii 56), and others 
speak disparagingly of his veracity. 
Their remarks apply ohiefly to his 
marvellooB stories. 



Life and 

maintained that his narrative is entitled to little credit. 
Gtesias seems to have introduced his own work to the favour- 
able notice of his coimtrymen by a formal attack on the 
veracity of his great predecessor,® upon the ruins of whose 
reputation he hoped to estabHsh his own. He designed his 
history to supersede that of Herodotus ; and feeling it in vain 
to endeavour to cope with him in the charms of composition, 
he set himself to invalidate his authority, presuming upon his 
own claims to attention as a resident for seventeen years at 
the court of the great king.® Professing to draw his relation 
of Oriental affairs from a laborious examination of the Persian 
archives,^ he proceeded to contradict, wherever he could do so 
without fear of detection, the assertions of his rival ; ^ and he 
thus acquired to himself a degree of fame and of consideration 
to which his literary merits would certainly never have 
entitled him, and which the course of detraction he pursued 
could alone have enabled him to gain. By the most unblush- 
ing effrontery he succeeded in palming off his narrative upon 
the ancient world as the true and genuine account of the 

* The words of Photins oonceming 
Ctesias (Bibliothec. Cod. Lxxii.) are : 
o'XcS^i' if B,irwri¥ iurructlfxtya *Hp<^6r^ 
Iffrop&yf aWit kolL ^tinmiv oSnhw &iro- 
kclK&¥ iv iroAAoir. 

» Diod. Sic. ii. 32. For the fact of 
the residence of Ctesias in Persia, see 
Xen. An. I. yilL § 26-7; Strab. xiv. 
p. 938 ; TzetE. ChiL i. i. 85. 

^ Diod. Sic. 1. B. o. oVros olp ^viv 

<bIs ol U4p<rcu riks iroXai&i wpd^tis icard 
rwa ¥6fJM¥ cTxoi' ffvprwrccyfxipns^ t o X v- 
wpayfAoyfjaat t& icatt tKcurra kolL 
(rwTa^dfif¥0¥ r^y laropioM §ls rohs 

''EWri¥M i^€¥€yK€Uf. 

' The most important points on 
which the two writers differed were, 
1. The date of the first establishment 
of a great Assyrian empire at Nineyeh, 
which Ctesias placed almost a thou- 
sand years before Herodotus ; 2. the 
dnration of the empire — according to 
Ctesias, 1306 years, according to 
Herodotus, 620; 3. the date of the 

Median conquest of Assjrria, which 
Ctesias made about B.C. 876, Hero- 
dotus about B.C. 600 ; and, 4. the 
duration of the Median kingdom — 
aboye 300 years in the former, 150 in 
the latter writer. Minor points of 
difference are, the names and number 
of the Median kings, the relationship 
of Cyrus to Astyages, the mode in 
which Sardis was taken, the enemy 
against whom Cyrus made his last 
expedition, the names of the brother 
of Cambyscs and of the Magus, the 
circumstances of the invasion of 
Egypt, the manner of the death of 
Cambyses and the length of his reign, 
the names of the six conspirators, the 
length of the reign of Darius, the time 
when Babylon was recovered by the 
stratagem ascribed to Zopyrus, the 
number of the army and fleet of 
Xerxes, the order of the great events 
in the Persian War, the time and place 
of the death of Mardonius, the num- 
bers of the Greek fleet at Salamis, &o. 




transactions, and his authority was commonly followed in 
preference to that of Herodotus, at least upon all points of 
purely Oriental history.' There were not wanting indeed in 
ancient times some more critical spirits, e.g. Aristotle* and 
the true Plutarch,' who refused to accept as indisputable the 
statements of the Gnidian physician, and retorted upon him 
the charge of untruthfulness which he had preferred against 
our author. It was difficult, however, to convict him of 
systematic falsehood until Oriental materials of an authentic 
character were obtained by which to test the conflicting 
accounts of the two writers. A comparison with the Jewish 
scriptures, and with the native history of Berosus, first 
raised a general suspicion of the bad faith of Ctesias,® whose 
credit few modems have been bold enough to maintain against 

' The historical work of Ctesias 
Beema to hare been at onoe receiyed 
by his conntrTineii as authoritative 
concerning the East. Even Aristotle, 
who rejected the fables of the Indica, 
appears to have given a certain 
amount of credit to the Assyrian 
history. (PoUt. v. 8 ; Eth. Nic. i. 5.) 
His disciple, Clearchns, followed in 
the same track (Fr. 5), as did Duris 
of SamoB, a contemporary (Fr. 14). 
Polybius (B.C. 160) appears to have 
adopted from Ctesias the whole oat- 
line of his Oriental narrative (Fr. 9 ; 
compare viii. zii. § 3, and xxxvii. ii. 
§ 6), as did Emilias Snra, Trogns 
Pompeios, and the Angastan writers 
generally. (See Diodoms Siculus, 
book ii. ; Nic. Damasc. Frs. 7-10 ; 
Strabo, xvi pp. 1046-7.) Velleius 
Fkfctercnliis (i. 6) followed Snra, and 
Justin (i 1.3)Trogas Pompeius ; while 
Castor (ap. Euseb.), Cephalion (Fr. 1), 
and Clemens of Alexandria (voL i p. 
379), drew direct from Ctesias him- 
self. Eusebius unfortunately adopted 
the views of Ctesias from Diodoms, 
Castor, and Cephalion, whence they 
passed to the whole series of eccle- 
siastical writers, as Augustine, Sulpi- 
cius Severus, Agathias, Eustathius, 
Syncellus, Ac. They are also found in 
JHoses of Chorine, who took them 

from Cephalion (i. 17) ; in Abydenus 
to a certain extent (Fr. 11) j in 
AthensDUS, Tzetzos, and others. 

^ The monstrous fables of the 
Indica were what chiefly moved the 
indignation of Aristotle. (See Gen. 
Anim. ii. 2 ; Hist. Anim. li. iii. § 10 ; 
III. sub fin. J VIII. xxvii. § 3.) But 
having learnt from the untrustworthy 
character of the writer, he does not 
accept as authoritative his historical 
narrations. See I'ol. v. 8, whei-e, 
speaking of the account which Ctesias 
gave of the effeminate Sardanapalus, 
Aristotle adds, ct iXriO^ r<uha ol 
fivOoKoyovvTfs \fyovaiv. 

» See Plutarch (Vit. Artaxerx. c. 13, 
et alibi). And compare Luciau, Do 
ConscribendA Historic (ii. 42 ; vol. iv. 
p. 202), and Arrian (Exp. Alex. v. 4). 

^ It is surprising that the ancient 
Christian chronologers did not at once 
perceive how incompatible the scheme 
of Ctesias is with Scripture. To a 
man they adopt it, and then ex|)end a 
vast amount of ingenuity in the vain 
endeavour to reconcile what is irre- 
concileable. (See Clinton's F. H. voL 
ii. p. 373.) Scaliger was the first to 
attack his credibility. (De Emend. 
Temp. Not. ad Fragm. subj. pp. 



Life jlicd 

the continaally increasing evidence of his dishonesty ."^ At 
last the coup de grace has been given to his small remaining 
reputation by the recent Cuneiform discoveries, which con- 
vict him of having striven to rise into notice by a system of 
" enormous lying " whereto the history of literature scarcely 
presents a parallel.® 

The reputation of Herodotus has on the whole suffered but 
little from the attacks of the Pseudo-Plutarch. The unfair- 
ness and prejudice of that writer is so manifest that perhaps 
he has rather done our author a service than an injury, by 
showing how few real errors could be detected in his narrative 
even by the most lynx-eyed criticism. His charge of " ma- 
lignity " has rebounded on himself ; and he has come to be 
regarded generally as a mere retailer of absurd calumnies 
which the plain dealing of Herodotus had caused to be 
circulated against him.® In no instance can he be said to 

' Freret ia almost the only modem 
of real learning who has ventured to 
nphold the paramonnt authority of 
Ctesias (M^moires de I'Acaddmie des 
InBcriptions, vol v. pp. 851-6). Bahr 
(Prolegomen. ad Ctes. § 8, pp. 24- 
60) attempts bnt a partial defence, 
abating greatly from the pretensions 
absurdly preferred by H. Stephanus. 
(See the ' Disquisitio Historica de 
Ctesia' in this writer's edition of 

^ The great Assyrian empire of 
Ctesias, lasting for 1806 years, is a 
pure fiction ; his list of monarchs 
from Ninus to Sardanapalus a forgery 
of the clumsiest kind, made up ot 
names in part Arian, in part geogra- 
phic, in part Greek, presenting but a 
single analogy to any name found on 
the monuments, and in all probability 
the mere product of his own fancy. 
His Median history is equally base- 
less. (See the Critical Essays, Essay 
iii.) In his Persian history, he trans- 
fers to the time of Cyrus the corrup- 
tions prevalent in his own day, forges 
names and numbers at pleasure, and 
distorts with wonderful audacity the 
historical facts best known to the 

Greeks. The monuments convict him 
of direct falsehood in numerous in- 
stcmces, as in the name of the brother 
of Cambyses, the circumstances of 
the Magian revolution, the names of the 
six conspirators, the place and manner 
of Cambyses' death, the early supre- 
macy of Assyria, the time at which 
Media rose into importance, &c &c. 
Authentic documents, like the Canon 
of Ptolemy and the dynastic tables of 
Manetho, contradict his chronological 
data; as, e.g.^ the number of years 
which he assigns to Cambyses and 
Darius Hystaspes, where Herodotus 
and the aforesaid documents are 
agreed. The credibility of his his- 
tory, where it touches the Greeks, 
may be fairly estimated by comparing 
his account of the revolt of Inarus 
(Pers. Ex. § 32, et seq.) with the 
narrative of Thuoydides (i. 104, 109, 

* See B&hr*s Commentatio de Yit. 
et Script. Herod. § 16; Dahlmann's 
Life, ch. viiL ; Mure's Literature of 
Greece, vol. iv. p. 266. The last- 
named writer observes : " The tract 
of Plutarch, 'On the Malignity of 
Herodotus,' is a condensation of these 


have proved his case, or convicted our author of a misstate- 
ment; in one only has he succeeded in throwing any con- 
siderable doubt on the view taken by Herodotus of an 
important matter.^ 

The writers who have followed in the wake of these two 
assailants of Herodotus can scarcely be said to have succeeded 
any better in their attacks on his veracity. The deUberate 
judgment of modem criticism on the subject is decidedly 
against the assailants, and cannot be better summed up than 
in the words of a recent author : — *' There can be no doubt," 
says Colonel Mure, "that Herodotus was, according to the 
standard of his age and country, a sensible and intel^gent 
man, as well as a writer of power and genius, and that he 
possessed an extensive knowledge of human life and character. 
Still less can it reasonably be questioned that lie was an essen- 
tiaUy honest and veraciovs historian. Such he has been 
admitted to be by the more impartial judges both of his own 
and subsequent periods of ancient literat.ure, and by the aU 
but unanimous verdict of the modem public. Bigid, in fact, as 
has been the scrutiny to which his text has been subjected, no 
distinct case of wilful misstatement or perversion of fact has 
been substantiated against him. On the contrary, the very 
severity of the ordeal has often been the means of eliciting 
evidence of his truth in cases where, with the greatest tempta- 
tion to falsehood, there was the least apparent risk of detec- 
tion. Every portion indeed of his work is pervaded by an air ' 
of candour and honest intention, which the discerning critic/ 
must recognise as reflecting corresponding quahties in the 
author."* It is unnecessary to add anything to this testi- 
mony, which coining from one whose critical knowledge is so 

calumnies ; for <u $%tch they have been 
recognised by the intelligent ptthlic of 
every age remoyed from the prejudices 
in which they originate." 

* The matter to which aUnsion is 
here made, is the conduct of the 
Thebans in connexion wiUi the battle 

of ThermopylsB. See Flat, do Malign. 
Herod, pp. 866-6, and comi>are Groto's 
Greece, vol. y. pp. 122-3. See also 
the fuot-notes to book vii. ohs. 205 
and 222. 

' Mure's Lit. of Greece, yoI. iy. p. 




great, and who is certainly not a blind admirer of Herodotus, 
must be regarded as almost closing the controversy. 

To the two excellencies of diligence in collecting materials 
and honesty in making use of them Herodotus adds a third, 
less common than either of the others, that of the strictest 
impartiality. Here again, however, his merit has not been 
uncontested. The Pseudo-Plutarch accuses him of nourishing 
a special prejudice against the Thebans because they had 
refused to gratify his cupidity ; ® and another writer brings a 
similar charge against him with respect to the Corinthians.^ 
He has also been taxed more generally, and in modem no less 
than ancient times,* with showing undue favour towards the 
Athenians. But the charges of prejudice evaporate with the 
calumnies of which they are the complement, and a reference 
to his work shows that he had no unfriendly feeling towards 
either nation. The valour displayed by the entire Boeotian 
cavalry at Plataea is honourably noticed,® and the conduct of 
the Thebans on the occasion receives special commemora- 
tion ; "^ the circumstances, moreover, of the siege of Thebes • 
are decidedly creditable to that people. The Corinthians 
receive still more striking marks of his good- will. The por- 
traiture of their conduct from the time that they became a 
free nation, is almost without exception favourable. They 
brave the displeasure of the Spartans by withdrawing their 
contingent from a joint army of Peloponnesians at a most 
critical moment, purely from a sense of justice and determina- 
tion not to share in doing a wrong.® Subsequently at a 
council summoned by Sparta they alone have the boldness to 
oppose the plan of the Lacedaemonians for enslaving Athens, 
and to expose openly before all the allies the turpitude of their 
proposals.^ On another occasion they play the part of 
peace-makers between Athens and Thebes.^ Somewhat later, 

' Quoting Aristophanes of Bceotia 
as his authority, p. 864 D. 

* Dio Chryeost Orat. xxxvii p. 456. 

• See Plut. de Malign. Herod, p. 
862, A., where the writer speaks of 

the charge as one commonljmade. 
« Herod, ix. 6a 
7 Ibid. chs. 67 and 69. 
» Ibid. chs. 86.a » Ibid. v. 76. 
1 Ibid. V. 92. « Ibid. Ti 108. 




they evade an express law of their state, which forbade them 
to give away ships of war, and liberally make the Athenians 
a present of twenty triremes*^ — certainly a meritorious act in 
the eyes of Herodotus. In the Persian war they act on the 
whole a strenuous part, only inferior to that played by the 
Athenians and the Eginetans. At Artemisium and at Salamis 
their contingent greatly exceeds that of any other state except 
Athens.* In the fight at the latter place their behaviour, 
according to the version which Herodotus manifestly prefers, 
is such as to place them in the first rank for bravery.*^ Their 
contingent at Flatsea far exceeds that of any other state except 
Athens and Sparta;* and though, together with the great 
bulk of the confederates, they were absent from the battle, 
they are mentioned among those who made all haste to 
redeem their fault so soon as they heard of the engagement.^ 
Finally, at Mycal6 they behave with great gallantry, and 
appear next to the Athenians in the Ust of those who most 
distinguished themselves.® The only discredit which attaches 
to the Corinthians in connexion with the war regards the 
conduct of their naval contingent, and especially of Adei- 
mantus, its commander, in the interval between the muster 
at Artemisium and the victory at Salamis.^ But here is no 
evidence of any peculiar prejudice ; for they are merely repre- 
sented as sharing in the feeling common to all the Peloponne- 
sians, and their prominency is the result of their eminent 
position among the Spartan naval allies. These charges of 
prejudice and ill-will therefore fall to the ground when tested 
by a general examination of the whole work of Herodotus, and 
it does not appear that he is fairly taxable with ** mahgnity," 
or even harshness in his treatment of any Greek state. 

The accusation of an undue leaning towards Athens is one 
which hB,B prima facie a certain show of justice, and which at 
any rate deserves more attention than these unworthy impu- 

' Herod, ck 89. 

* Ibid. TiiL 1 and 43. 

' 'Er wp€tr6Sffi rris wavftaxhsy Tiii. 94 

• Ibid. ix. 28. 

7 Ibid. ch. 69. 8 Ibid. ch. 

» Ibid. TiiL 6, 69, 61. 




Life and 

tations of spite and malice. The open and undisguised admi- 
ration of the Athenians which Herodotus displays throughout 
his work,^ the fact that to Athens he was indebted for a home 
and a new citizenship when expelled from his native country,^ 
the very probable fact of his having received at the hands of 
the Athenians a sum of money on account of his History,^ 
make it not unlikely that he may have allowed his judgment 
to be warped in some degree by his favourable feelings towards 
those to whom he was united by the double bond of gratitude 
and mutual esteem. Again, in one instance, he has certainly 
made an indefensible statement, the effect of which is to add 
to the glory of the Athenians at the expense of other Greeks.^ 
Still a careful review of his entire narrative will show that, 
however favourably disposed towards the Athenians, he was 
no blind or undiscriminating admirer, but openly criticised 
their conduct where it seemed to him faulty, noticing with the 
same unsparing freedom which he has used towards others, 
the errors, crimes, and follies of the Athenian people and 
their greatest men. Where he first introduces the Athenians, 
he speaks of the bulk of the nation as ** loving tyranny better 
than freedom," "^ and about the same time he notices that they 
suffered themselves to be imposed upon by " one of the silliest 
devices to be found in all history."® After the establishment of 
the democracy, he ventures to call in question the wisdom of 
great Demus himself, taxing him with " deceivableness," and 
declaring that he was more easily deluded by fair words than 
an individual.^ He describes the general spirit of the Athenian 

"See V. 79; vi 112; viL 139; 
Tiil 10, 109, 143, 144; ix. 22, 27-8, 
70, Ac. 

'Soprikp. 21. «Ibid. p. 16. 

* Herod, vi 112. It is certainly 
imtme to say of the Athenians at 
Marathon that they " were the first of 
the Greeks who dared to look npon 
the Median garb, and to face men 
clad in that fashion."' The Ionian 
Greeks foa^^ht bravely against Har- 
pagos (i 169); the Ferinthians re- 
sisted Megabazns (v. 2) ; the lonians 

again, assisted by a few Athenians 
and Eretrians, met the Persians in 
open fight at Ephesns (v. 102) ; the 
Cyprian Greeks fought a Persian 
army near Salamis (v. 110, 113) ; the 
Milesians were engaged against 
another in Caria (v. 120) ; and a hard 
battle was fought between a strong 
body of Persians and an army of 
Ionian and JSolian Ghreoks near Atar- 
neus (vi. 28, 29). 

» Ibid. L 62. • Ibid. ch. 60. 

' Ibid. V. 97. 


people immediately before Marathon as timid and wavering,® 
condemns openly their treatment of the heralds of Xerxes, 
which he regards as bringing them justly under the divine 
displeasure,* and passes a still more severe though indirect 
censure upon their conduct towards the Eginetans in the case 
of their hostages.^ He further exposes their spirit of detrac- 
tion towards their rivals by relating the account which they 
gave of the behaviour of the Corinthians at Salamis, and at 
the same time clearly intimating his own disbelief of it.* In 
the character of their great men, with the solitary exception 
of Aristides, he notes flaws, detracting very considerably from 
the admiration to which they would otherwise have been 
entitled. Besides the imputation of mercenary motives to 
Themistocles,*^ which has been generally remarked, Clisthenes 
is denied the merit of disinterestedness in the policy which 
formed his special glory,* and MBltiades is exhibited as engag- 
ing in the expedition which brought disgrace alike on himself 
and on his country, to gratify a private pique.' It cannot, 
therefore, be said with any truth that Herodotus sufifered his 
admiration of the Athenians to degenerate into partizanship ; 
or did more than assign them the meed of praise which he 
felt to be, and which really was, their due. A single hyper- 
bolical expression, which his own work affords the means of 
correcting, cannot be allowed to weigh in the balance against 
the general evidence of candour and fairness furnished by his 

Before taking leave of this subject, it seems right to notice 
two special instances, where the candour of Herodotus is very 
remarkably displayed under circumstances of peculiar tempta- 
tion. Bom and bred up during the continuance of the struggle 
between Greece and Persia, himself a citizen of a Greek state 
which only succeeded in throwing oflf the Persian yoke after he 
was grown to manhood, and led by his own opinions to sym- 

• Herod. TL 109 : comp. 124 
» Ibid. Tii 133. » Ibid, vi 86. 
ilbid. TiiL 94. 

» Ibid. viiL 4, 111, 112. 
* Ibid. Y. 66 and 69. 
» Ibid, vi 138. 



Life and 

pathize most warmly with the patriotic side, he might have 
been pardoned had he felt a little bitterly towards that grasp- 
ing people, which, not content with ruling all Asia from India 
and Bactria on the one hand, to Phoenicia and Lydia on the 
other, envied the independence and sought to extinguish the 
liberties of Greece. In lieu, however, of such a feeling, we 
find the very opposite tone and spirit in all that he tells us of 
the Persians. Their valour,® their simplicity and hardiness,'^ 
their love of truth,® their devoted loyalty to their princes,^ 
their wise customs and laws,^ are spoken of with a strength 
and sincerity of admiration which strongly marks his supe- 
riority to the narrow spirit of national prejudice and partiality 
too common in every age. It is evidently his earnest wish and 
aim to do justice to the enemy no less than to his own country- 
men. Hence every occasion is seized to introduce traits of 
nobility, generosity, justice, or self-devotion on the part of 
either prince or people.* The personal prowess of the Persians 
is declared to be not a whit inferior to that of the Greeks,^ 
and constant apologies are made for their defeats, which are 
ascribed to deficiencies in their arms, equipment, or discipline,* 
not to any want of courage or military spirit. Of course the 
defects of the nation and its chiefs are also recorded; but 
there is every appearance of em honest intention to give them 
full credit for every merit which they possessed, and the 
portraiture is altogether about the most favourable that we 

• Horod. vl 113; viii. 100, 113; ix. 
62, 102, &0, 

7 Ibid. i. 71 ; ix. 122. 
" Ibid. i. 186. 188. 

> Ibid. viii. 99 ; oomp. iii 128, 154, 
165 ; vii. 107, and viii. 118, where the 
Belf -devotion, though not regarded as 
tmo, appears to be considered 

> Ibid, i. 187, 138 ; iil 154. 

• Ibid. I 115 ; iii 2, 74, 76, 128, 
140, l&t.l68, 160; V. 25; vi. 80, 119, 
Til 27-29, 105, 107, 136, 181, 194, 

^ Ibid ix. 62. X^^tort ^ rvr xol 

* A6p€uri fipaxvr4pourt j(pt<ifi€Voty ^xcp 
ol ^EXAiji'ey, Koi ovk Hx^"^^* irX^e< xM- 
ffoadtu (vii. 211). 6 "B^pi*^ trrparht inrh 
fi€ydjB€6s Tc Ktd x\^i0€os tunht 6ir^ iavrov 
liriTTC, rapaffffofifv^tnr re tmt rt&y Ktd 
wtptirnrrowrdwp irtpl &AA^Xai (viii. 16). 
Twr fi^v 'EAA^ywy ffhv KOfffJi^ vccoiuiXf6v' 
T«*r Karii ro|iy, rw 84 ob rtrceyiUyvv fn 
(viii. 86). ol Tl4p<rc»&yoir\oi i6irr€s Kal 
wphs iu^rwtffr^/Aoifts ^fftuf (ix. 62.) Com- 
pare V. 49, where the description of the 
Persian eqoipment prepares ns for the 
coming defeats. ^ M<^X^ airrmf i<rr\ 
TM^Sc* r6^a KoX oixj"^ fip^X^ atn^vpi^ea 
84 $XOi^fs lpx<"^^ ^f '''^ f^X^ *^ 
Kv^fiarias iwl rftn kc^oX^i* 




possess of any Oriental nation either in ancient or modem 

The other remarkable instance of oar author's candour is 
contained in his notice of Artemisia/ Without assigning any 
particular weight to the statements of Suidas as to the im- 
portant part which Herodotus played personally in the drama 
of Halicamassian politics, it is certain that if the revolution 
by which the tyranny was put down and the family of Arte- 
misia expelled took place in his time, his views and sympathies 
must have been altogether on the popular side. He must un- 
doubtedly have"*fH[t, even if he did not act, with those who 
drove out the tyrant, and brought Halicamassus into the 
Athenian confederacy. The warm praise, therefore, and open 
admiration which he bestows on Artemisia, is indicative of a 
fair mind, which would not allow political partizanship to blind 
biTTi to individual merit. Of course, if the narrative of Suidas, 
despite its weak authority, should be true — which has been 
admitted to be possible"^ — the credit accorded to the Halicar- 
nassian queen would be a still more notable proof of candour. 

In connexion with this trait it may be further observed 
that the whole work of Herodotus exhibits very strikingly his 
political moderation and freedom from party bias. Though 
decidedly preferring democratic institutions to any other,® he 
is fully aware that they are not without their own peculiar 
evils,^ while every form of government he recognizes to have 
certain advantages.^ A consequence of this moderation of 

' Colonel Hare justly obserrcs : — 
" Perhaps the best yindication of the 
hisioriazi's faimesB, in so far as regards 
the Persians, is the fact, that while 
the most detailed aoconnt of that people 
which we possess, and on which we 
are chiefly aocostomed to form onr 
judgment of their character, is that 
tnoismitted by Herodotus, there is no 
nation among those who in ancient or 
modem times have figured on the wide 
field of Oriental politics, which for 
patriotism, yalour, talent, and gene- 
rosity, occupies or deserves to occupy 

VOL. I. 

so high a place in our estimation." — 
Lit. of Greece, vol. iv. p. 436. 

« Herod, vii. 99 ; viii. 68, 87, 88, 102, 
103. 7 Supr^, p. 14. 

® See V. 78 ; vi. 5, Ac. 

• These are very strongly put in the 
speech of Megabyzus (iii. 81), and are 
glanced at in the following passages : 
iii. 142, 143 ; v. 97 ; vi. 109. 

* Seo book iii. chs. 80-82, and com- 
pare the praise given to the thyofita of 
Lycurgus (i. 65, 66), to the Milesian 
aristocracy (v. 28, 29), and to the first 
tyranny of Pisistratus (i. 59, ad fin.). 




Lin AND 

feeling is that fair distribution of praise and blame among 
persons of different political sentiments, which might have 
been imitated with advantage by the modem writers who have 
treated of this period of history. Herodotus can see and 
acknowledge the existence of faults in popular leaders,^ and of 
virtues in oligarchs, or even despots.® He does not regard it 
as his duty to whitewash the characters of the one,* or to 
blacken the memories of the other. And the same dispassion- 
ateness appears in his account of the conduct of states. The 
democratical Argos is shown to have pursued a more selfish 
policy throughout the Persian war than almost any other 
Greek power. *^ The aristocratic Egina is given the fullest 
credit for gallant behaviour.® There is no attempt to gloss 
over faults or failings because those to whom they attach agree 
with the author in political opinions, or to exaggerate or 
imagine defects in those of opposite views.'' 

Herodotus also is, for a Greek, peculiarly free from the 
defect of national vanity. He does not consider his own nation 
either the oldest,® or the wisest,® or the greatest,^® or even the 
most civilized of all. He loves his country dearly, admire^ 
its climate,^^ delights in its free institutions, appreciates its 
spirit and intelligence ; but he is quite open to perceive and 

« Ab in Clisthenes (v. 66, 69), in 
Themistocles (viii. 4, 109, 110, 111, 
112), and in Tolesarchns, tho Samian 
democrat (iii. 142). 

' Sosicles, tho Corinthian noble (v. 
92), Pisistratns (i. 59), MsDandrius 
(iii. 142), Crias tho Eginotan (viii. 92, 
oomp. vi. 73), and Darius himself, are 

^ It may be thought that the chap, 
ters in book vi. which defend the 
AlomsoonidsB from the charge of having 
been in league with tho Persians at 
the time of the battle of Marathon 
(chs. 128^) form an attempt of this 
kind. But to take this view we must 
presume their guilt, which the argu- 
ments of Herodotus show to be most 

» Herod, vii. 150—152; ix. 12. 

« Ibid. vii. 181 ; viii. 91—93. 

7 If there is any exception to the 
general practice here noted, it is in 
the pictures given of Greek tyrants, 
which have tho appearance of being 
somewhat overdrawn. See particu- 
larlv the characters of Periander (iii. 
48.53; v. 92, § 6, 7), Polvcratos (iii. 
39, 4t, 123), HistisDus (iv. 137 ; v. 106 ; 
vi. 3, 26, 29), Cypselus (v. 92, § 5), 
Aristagoras (v. 37, 124), Arcesilaus 
III. (iv. 161), and Pheretima (iv. 202). 
But tlie fact that tyrants are some- 
times praised (i. 59 ; iii. 142 ; vii. 99, 
Ac.) seems to show that at least Hero- 
dotus has no inientiiyn of dealing 
unfairlv by this class of men. 

8 Herod, ii. 2. » Ibid. iii. 38. 
w Ibid. V. 3. 

" Ibid. iii. 106. Compare i. 142. 




acknowledge the special advantages, whether consisting in 
superior antiquity, in products, discoveries, wise laws, or grand 
and striking monuments, of other kingdoms and regions. 
Egypt and Phrygia are the most ancient, India and Thrace 
the most powerful countries ; Babylonia is beyond comparison 
the most fertile in grain ;'^ Scythia the most secure against 
invasion;* Egypt, Babylon, and Lydia possess the most 
wonderful works;® Ethiopia the handsomest and longest-hved 
men;^ Media the finest horses;'- Arabia, and the other 
"extremities of the earth," the strangest and most excellent 
commodities.* Wise laws aare noted as obtaining in Persia,'' 
Babylonia,® EgyptJ Venetia ; ^^ inventions of importance are 
attributed to the Lydians," the Carians,^ the Babylonians,^® 
the Egyptians," and the wild races of northern Africa ; " the 
adoption of customs, laws, and inventions from other countries 
by the Greeks is freely admitted ; ^* the inferiority of their great 
works and buildings to those of Egypt receives pointed com- 
ment ; " their skill as workmen, as sailors, and as builders of 
ships, is placed in unfavourable comparison with that of the 
Phoenicians, especially those of Sidon.^® It is seldom indeed 
that an author is found so thoroughly national, and yet at the 
same lime so entirely devoid of all arrogant assumption of 
superiority on behalf of his nation. His liboraUty in this 
respect oflFers a strong contrast to the general practice of his 
countrymen, wl|08e contempt of "barbarians" was almost 
equal to that of the Chinese. 

The merits of Herodotus as a writer have never been denied 
or contested. Before attempting any analysis of the qualities 
in which this excellence consists, it is important to consider 
briefly those faults or blemishes — the "anomalies of his 
genius," as they have been called^ — which detract from the 

» Herod, i. 193. Compare iv. 198. 
« Ibid. It. 46. . » Ibid. i. 98. 

* Ibid. iii. 20 and 22. Compare 114. 

* Ibid. iii. 106, and vii. 40. 

« Ibid. iii. 106-114. ^ ibid. i. 136-7. 
8 Ibid. L 196-7. » Ibid. ii. 177. 
" Ibid, i, 196. " Ibid. i. 94. 

» Ibid. i. 171. » Ibid. ii. 109. 

»* Ibid. ii. 4, 82, 109, Ac. ; iv. 180. 

" Ibid. iv. 189. 

»• Ibid. i. 171 ; ii. 4, 50, 58, 109, &<;. ; 
iv. 180, 189 ; and v. 58. 

17 Ibid. ii. 148. 

w Ibid. vii. 23, 44, and 99. 

» Mure'a Literature of Qreece, vol. 
iv. p. 354. 



Life and 

value of his work as a record of facts, and form in strictness 
of speech his defects aa an historian. These, according to the 
verdict of modem criticism,^ are three in number — 1. Credu- 
lity, or an undue love of the marvellous, whether in religion, 
in nature, or in the habits of men ; 2. An over-striving after 
eflfect, leading to exaggerations, contradictions, and an exces- 
sive infusion of the anecdotical element into his work; and, 
3. A want of critical judgment and method, shown in a number 
of oversights, inaccuracies, and platitudes, which cannot be 
accounted for by either of the other habits of mind, but seem 
i the mere result of the absence of the critical faculty. These 
defects — ^the existence of which it is impossible to deny — 
require to be separately examined and weighed, the main 
question for determination being to what extent they counter- 
act the natural working of his many excellencies, and so 
injure the character of his History. 

It is perhaps not of much importance to inquire how far 
the admitted credulity of Herodotus was the consequence of 
the age in which he lived, and so necessary and excusable. 
He will not be the better historian or the safer guide for the 
fact that his contemporaries either generally, or even univer- 
sally, shared his errors. Some injustice seems to have been 
done him by a late critic, who judges him by the standard of 
an age considerably later, and of a country far more advanced 
than his own.* But this question does not aflfect the historical 

> Mure, pp. 852 and 409, 410. 

* Col. More represents Herodotns as 
'* in all essential respects " a contcm. 
porary of Thucydides (p. 361), and eren 
of Aristoplianes (p. 35i3). lliis is un. 
&ir. Thnoydides probably ontlived 
Herodotus some 25 or 80 years, and 
wrote his History towards the close of 
his life—after B.C. 404. (See Thucyd. 
i. 21-3 ; ii. 65 ; sub. fin. ; v. 26.) Ari- 
stophanes was bom after Herodotus 
had recited at Athens, in b.c. 444 pro- 
bably (Schol. At. Ran. 602, Arg. Eq.), 
and only began to exhibit about the 
time of our author's death (in b.c. 427, 
Herodotus dying probably in B.c. 425). 

These writers belong, therefore, to the 
generation succteding Herodotus. Peri- 
cles and Anaxagoras are undoubtedly 
his " older contemporaries," but their 
minds were formed at Athens, not at 
Halicamassus. In the rapid develop- 
ment of Greek mental life after the 
repulse of Xerxes, Athens took the 
lead, and soon shot far ahead of every 
other state ; while Halicamassus, one 
of the outlying portions of the Grecian 
world, would be among the last to 
receive the impulse propagated from 
a far-off centre. Herodotus, however, 
was certainly behind, while Pericles 
and Anaxagoras were before the age. 

Waittnos. prodigies. 85 

value of his work, which most be decided on absolute, not on 
relative grounds. The true point for consideration is, how far 
his work is injured by the defect in question — to what extent 
it has disqualified him for the historian's office. 

Now the credulity of Herodotus in matters of religion 
amounts to this. He believes in the prophetic inspiration of 
the oracles, in the fact that warnings are given to men through 
prodigies and dreams, and in the occasional appearance of the 
gods on earth in a human form. He likewise holds strongly 
the doctrine of a divine Nemesis, including therein not only 
retribution, or the visible punishment of presumption and 
other sins, but also jealousy, or the provocation of divine 
anger by mere greatness and prosperous fortune. How do 
these two lines of belief affect his general narrative, and how 
far do they detract from its authenticity ? 

With regard to the former class of supernatural phenomena, 
it must be observed, in the first place, that they are for the 
most part mere excrescences, the omission of which leaves the 
historic narrative intact, and which may therefore, if we like, 
be simply put aside when we are employed in tracing the course 
of events recorded by our author. The prodigies of Herodotus 
no more interfere with the other facts of his History than 
those which Livy so copiously relates, even in his later books,® 
interfere with his. They may offend the taste of the modern 
reader by their quaintness and " frivoUty,'** but they are in no 
way interwoven with the narrative, so that it should stand or 
fall with them. Omit the swarming of the snakes in the 
suburbs of Sardis, and the flocking of the horses from their 
pastures to eat them before the capture of that city, and the 
capture itself — ^nay, even the circumstances of the capture — 
are untouched by the omission. And this remark extends 
beyond the prodigies proper to omens, dreams, and even divine 
appearances. Subtract the story of Epizelus from the account 
of the battle of Marathon, or that of Pan and Pheidippides 

» Liv. xli. 13 ; xlii. 2, 20; xliii. 13 ; I * Mure, p. 362. 
xlT. 15, Ac. I 



Life and 

from the circumstances preceding it, and nothing else need be 
struck out in consequence. This cannot indeed be said of the 
oracles, or of the dreams in some instances; on them the 
narrative occasionally hinges, and we are reduced to the alter- 
native of rejecting large portions of the story as told by our 
author, or accepting his facts and explaining them on our own 
principles. Even if we are sceptical altogether as to the pro- 
phetic power of the oracles,' or as to any divine warning being 
given to the heathen in dreams,® we may still believe that 
events happened as he states them, explaining, for instance, 
the visions of Xerxes and Artabanus by a plot in the palace, 
and the oracles concerning Salamis by the foresight of Themis- 
tocles. Cases, however, of this kind, where the supposed 
supernatural circumstance forms a leading feature in the chain 
of events, are rare, amounting to not more than four or five 
in the entire work.'' It is also worthy of notice that the super- 
natural circumstances are more numerous, more prominent, 
and more inexplicable on rational grounds in the portion of 
the work which treats of remoter times and less well known 
countries. Without disappearing altogether, they become 

* Col. Mure speaks somewhat con- 
temptuonsly of those "pious persons 
who incline to believe in the reality of 
a demoniac inspiration having been for 
some wise purpose conceded by the true 
God to tho Delphic Apollo" (1. s. c.) ; 
but he brings no argument against 
them except that certain oracles — or 
rather a single oracle, for his reference 
to Herod, iz. 43 is mistaken — which 
were not fulfilled in our author's time, 
remain unfulfilled to the present day. 
But no one ever supposed that all the 
oracles delivered at Delphi or other 
places were inspired. Those who deny 
any demoniac influence to the oracular 
shrines have to explain— 1. The pas- 
sage of the Acts referred to below 
(note < on Book i. ch. 48) ; 2. The fact 
of the defect of oracles soon after the 
publication of Christianity (Plut. de 
Defect. Or. vol. ii. pp. 431-2) ; and 3. 
The general conviction of the early 
Christian Fathers, that the oracles 

were inspired. (See Euseb. Prajp. Ev. 
books V. and vi. ; Clem. Alex. Strom. 
V. p. 728; Theodoret. Therap. Serm. 
X. p. 623, &c. ; Augustin. de Divin. 
Dffimon. Op. vi. p. 370, et seqq. Ac.) 

• The dreams of Pharaoh, Abimelech, 
Nebuchadnezzar, Pilate's wife, and 
Cornelius, are indications that the be- 
lief of the Greeks in the occasional 
inspiration of dreams, which was at 
least as old as Homer — wai ydp r* 6vap 
iie Ai6s iffrof. II. i. 63 — had a founda- 
tion in fact. 

7 The dream of Astyages concern- 
ing his daughter Mandan^ — tho satis- 
faction by the Delphic oracle of the 
test offered by Croesus — tho visions 
of Xerxes and Artabanus — and the 
famous oracle concerning the wooden 
wall and Salamis, are almost the only 
points in the supernatural machinery 
on which any extent of narrative can 
be said to turn. 

Wbitihos. faint traces OF RATIONALISM. 8/ 

more scanty as we approach nearer to Herodotus's own age, 
and to the events which form the special subject of his 
History. Thus their interference is mainly with those parts 
of the History of which the authority is even otherwise the 
weakest, and becomes trifling when we descend to those times 
concerning which our author had the best means of obtaining 

The mode, however, in which our author's belief in this 
sort of supernatural agency is supposed to have most seriously 
detracted from his historical value is by the influence it is 
thought to have exercised upon the choice which he often had 
to make among various versions of a story coming to him 
upon tolerably equal authority.® It is argued that he would 
be likely to prefer the version which dealt most largely in the 
supematurfU element, thus reversing the canon of criticism 
on which a modem would be apt to proceed. Nor can it be 
denied that this may sometimes have been the case. The 
supernatural, especially if removed a little from his own time, 
did not shock him, or seem to him in the least improbable. 
He would therefore readily accept it, and he would even, it 
must be allowed, be drawn to it as a means of enlivening his 
narrative. It is however unfair to represent him as ** a man 
morbidly intent on bringing aU the affairs of life into con- 
nexion with some special display of divine interjK^sition.*' 
On more than one occasion he rejects a supernatural story or 
explanation, preferring to it a plain matter-of-fact account. 
He suggests that when after three days of violent storm, during 
which the Magi strove to appease the wind by incantations and 
sacrifices, the tempest at last ceased, it was not so much their 
sacred rites which had the desired effect as that the fury of 
the gale was spent.^ He declines to accept the Athenian 
account of the flight of Adeimantus from Salamis, though it 
includes the prodigy of a phantom ship.^ He refuses credit to 

• Mure, p. 360. ( * I » Ibid. viii. 94. Comp. v. 86. 

• Herod, vii. 191. «' ' 






the story that Cyrus was suckled by a bitch .^ His appetite 
for the supernatural is therefore not indiscriminate; and 
perhaps if we possessed the complete works of his contempo- 
raries we should find him far oftener than has been suspected 
preferring a less to a more marvellous story .* 

There is one other point of view in which the credulity of 
Herodotus with respect to oracles, prodigies, &c., requires to 
be considered before we absolutely pronounce it a very serious 
defect in him as an historian. Granting that it detracts 
somewhat from his value as an authentic narrator of facts, has 
it not a compensatory advantage in placing him more on a 
level with the mass of his countrymen, in enabling him to 
understand and portray them better, and inducing him to put 
more fully upon record a whole class of motives and feelings 
which did in point of fact largely influence their conduct? 
Would the cold scepticism of Thucydides have given us a truer 
picture of the spirit in which the Persian attacks were met, — 
the hopes that stimulated, and the beHef that sustained a 
resistance almost without a parallel, which may have been 
mere patriotism in the leaders, but in the mass was certainly 
to a great extent the fruit of religious enthusiasm ? Is it not 
a fact that the Greeks of the age immediately preceding 
Herodotus were greatly influenced by oracles, omens, prodi- 
gies, and the Uke, and are we not enabled to understand them 
better from the sympathising pages of a writer who partici- 
pated in the general sentiment, than from the disdainful 
remarks of one who from the height of his philosophical 


. ' Herod, i. 122. Further instances of 

I ^ .'what might be called a rationalising 
' ytendenoj are ii. 57 and yii. 129 ad fin. 
' It is not quite clear what sort of 
"exaggerations" those were which 
caused Herodotus to reject three ac- 
counts which he had heard of the early 
history of Cyrus (i. 95). Probably, 
however, they included a number of 
marvellous details, like the suckling 
by a bitch, which he expressly dis- 
credits. It is certain that there were 
often accounts current among the 

Greeks of transactions included with- 
in the sphere of his History, wherein 
the wonderful and supernatural played 
a more important part than he assigns 
to them. Instances are, the story of 
Gyges, as told by Plato (Rep. ii. pp. 
359, 360), the narrative of the Persian 
retreat contained in ^schylus (Pers. 
497-609), and, probably, the history of 
the first Persian expedition under 
Mardonius, as Charon gave it. (Fr. 3 ; 
cf. supr&, p. 43.) 




rationalism looks down with a calm contempt upon the weak- 
ness and credulity of the multitude ? At any rate, is it not a 
happy chance which has given us, in the persons of the two 
earliest and most eminent of Greek historians, the two oppo- 
site phases of the Greek mind, religiousness bordering upon 
superstition, and shrewd practical sense verging towards 
scepticism? Without the corrective to be derived from the 
work of Herodotus ordinary students would have formed a 
very imperfect notion of the real state of opinion among the 
Greeks on religious matters, and many passages of their 
history would have been utterly unintelligible.* It seems 
therefore not too much to say that we of later times gain more 
than we lose by this characteristic of our author, which 
qualified him in an especial way to be the historian of a 
period anterior to the rise of the sceptical spirit, when a tone 
of mind congenial to his own was prevalent throughout the 
Hellenic world, and a belief in the supernatural was among 
the causes which had the greatest weight in shaping events 
and determining their general course. 

The beKef of Herodotus in the pervading influence of the 
divine Nemesis — a beUef which, in the form and degree in 
which it is maintained through his History, seems to have 
been peculiar to himself, and not shared in by his compatriots * \ 
— ^is regarded as having worked "even more prejudicially to \ 
the authenticity of his narrative than his vein of popular 

* As tho ferment consequent upon 
the mutilation of the Mercuries, which 
led to the recall and thereby to the 
alienation of Alcibiades — only to bo 
explained by the deep religious feeling 
of the mass of the Athenians. (See 
Grote's Greece, vol. vii. pp. 229-232, 
where this passage of history is very 
properly treated.) 

' A theory of Divine retribution was 
common in Greece, but il was limited 
to the punishment in this life of sig^nal 
acts of impiety or other wickedness, 
in the person of the offender or of his 
descendants. (Cf. Herod, ii. 120, ad 
fin., and vi. 75, ad fin.) This line of 

thought is very strongly marked in 
w^Eschylus. Tho peculiarity in the 
form of the Herodotean notion con- 
sists in this — that ho regards mere,! 
greatness and good fortune, apart fromjl 
any impioty or arrogance, as provoking .1 
the wrath of God. (See note * on|' 
book i. eh. 32, and compare iii. 40, vii. 
10, § 5, 6, and 46, ad fin.) Ue also 
seems to consider that every striking 
calamity must be of the nature of a 
visitation (vi. 75; vii. 133, &c.), and 
further, he carries the notion of re- 
tributive suffering into comparatively 
insignificant cases (vi. 72, 135). 




Like and 

superstition.**® Here again the mode in which his belief 
affected his historic accuracy is thought to have been by 
influencing his choice among different versions of the same 
story. It is admitted that he was too honest to falsify his 
data ;■' but it is said® that in "almost every case " there would 
be several versions of a story open to his adoption, and he 
would naturally prefer that one which would best illustrate 
his theory of Nemesis. Undoubtedly where the different 
accounts came to him upon equal or nearly equal authority 
such a leaning might determine his choice; but there is no 
reason to believe that, where the authority was unequal, he 
allowed himself to be improperly biassed by his devotion to 
the Nemesiac hypothesis. The attempts made to prove such 
an undue bias mostly fail ; ® and it is doubtful whether there 

* Mure, p. 369. 

7 Ibid. p. 376. 8 Ibid. p. 369. 

• Col. Mure has brought forward 
four examples of the distortion of his- 
tory by Horodotus in furtherance of 
the Nemesiac theory — viz. : the csiscs 
of Croesus, Cambyses, Cleomenes, and 
the Spartan heralds, Nicolas and 
An^ristus. With regard to the first, 
he dwells principally upon the sup- 
posed anachronism involved in bring- 
ing Solon to the court of Croesus, 
which is shown below (i. 29, note *) to 
be quite a possible event. In the case 
of Camby ses, he looks on Herodotus as 
having preferred the Egyptian to the 
Persian account of his death (which 
latter he thinks to be the true one, 
and to be preserved to us in Ctesias), 
because its features, though highly 
improbable, were retributive (pp. 370, 
371). But, as he confesses in a note, 
the tale in Ctesias is not the Persian, 
nor the true account, but one of that 
writer's inventions ; and the narrative 
of Herodotus is proved by the Behis- 
tun inscription to be correct, except 
in representing the wound which Cam- 
byses gave himself as accidental, a 
point which does not help the Neme- 
sis. With respect to Cleomenes, he 
thinks that his suicide ought to have 
been ascribed to his habits of drink. 

ing; but as it is Herodotus himself 
who records these habits, and the 
opinion entertained by the Spartans 
that the madness of Cleomenes arose 
from them, he cannot bo said to have 
perverted, or even concealed, history, 
in order to give more likelihood to his 
own Nemesiac views. In the fourth 
case, that of the envoys. Col. Mure, 
comparing Thucyd. ii. 67, with the 
narrative of Herodotus, supposes that 
there were " two accounts of the af- 
fair, one describing Nicolas and An6- 
ristus as two out of six, or but one- 
third of the mission, the other as two 
out of three" and that Herodotus was 
tempted to prefer the latter number 
by " the broader shadow of plausibility 
which it gave to his own case of retri- 
butive vengeance" (p. 375). But 
there is not the slightest evidence of 
the existence of two stories. Hero- 
dotus nowhere states the number of 
the ambassadors. He probably knew 
the details of the affair just as well as 
Thucydides, as appears from the mi- 
nuteness of his account (suprii, p. 29, 
note *). His narrative, however, was 
only concerned with the fate of two 
out of the six — namely, Nicolas and 
Andristus — and he need have men- 
tioned no others ; it is quite casually, 
and merely on account of his indi. 




is a producible instance of it.^ Moreover it is beyond the 
truth to say that in "ahnost every case" there would be 
several versions ; and when there were, it should be borne in , 
mmd that it was his general practice to give them.* Further, / 
the theory of Herodotus certainly is not that ''every act of' 
signal folly or injustice " must have a special Nemesis ; or at 
least it is not his theory that every such act must have a 
visible Nemesis which can be distinctly attached to it by the 
historian ; for he professes himself at a loss to know what punish- 
ment the Athenians received for their conduct toward the heralds 
of Darius ; ' and many instances even of flagrant impiety are 
recorded by him without any notice of their having drawn 
down a special visitation.* Herodotus is not, therefore, under | 
any very strong temptation to warp or bend history in accord- 
ance with the exigences of his Nemesiac theory; for that 
theory does not oblige him to show that all crimes are 
punished; and if it requires him, in the case of signal 
calamities, to assign a cause provocative of them, yet as he 
may find the cause in the conduct of ancestors,*^ in mere ante- 
rior prosperity,® in fate,'' or in an unwitting contraveution of 
fate,® no less than in the moral conduct of the individual, he 
cannot experience any great difficulty in accounting for such 

vidoal eminence, that he names Ari- 
stens. In such a case the men tio unius 
cannot be taken as implying the ex- 
clusio plurium. Again, Col. Mnre 
seems to think that Herodotus pur- 
posely concealed the " human Neme- 
sis/* which was really involved in the 
transaction. So far from this being 
the case, Herodotus adds a particular 
connected with the human Nemesis, 
which is not given by Thucydides — 
vix. : that An^ristus had himself been 
engaged in the cruelties which pro- 
duced the execution of the ambassadors 
by way of reprisals. In fact. Hero- 
dotus would not feel that a human 
interfered with a divine Nemesis. 

* Of the cases brought forward by 
Col. Mure, that of Cnssus seems to be 
the only one where history has really 
been distorted to make the Nemesis 

more complete (see Essay i. sub fin.). 
As gross an instance is the story of 
Polycrates, where the renunciation of 
alliance by Amasis, and the loss and 
recovery of the ring, seem to bo pure 
fictions. But in neitlicr case is it 
quite clear that Herodotus had a 
choice between different accounts. 

3 See i. 1-6, 19, 20, 27, 70, 75, &c. ; 
ii. 181 ; iii. 1-3, 9, 30, Ac. ; iv. 5-11, 
150.4; V. 85-6; vi. 54, 75-84, 121-4; 
vii. 213.4, 230 ; viii. 94, 117-120 ; ix. 74. 

3 Herod, vii. 133. 

* Ibid. i. 60, 159, 160 j ii. 124-8 j v. 63, 
67; vi.86,91. 

^ As in the case of the heralds, and 
in that of Cnssus to some extent (see 
i. 13, 91). 

« Herod, i. 32; iii. 40, 125; vii. 10, 

7 Ibid. i. 8. ^ Ibid. ii. 133. 



Life and 

calamities without travelling beyond the domain of fact into 
the region of fable and invention. It is indeed far more in 
his choice of facts to record than in his choice among different 
versions of the same facts that onr author's favourite theory 
of human life has left its trace upon his History. The great 
moral which he had himself drawn from his wide survey of 
mundane events was that which the word " Nemesis," taken 
in its widest sense, expresses. And this, his own predominant 
conviction, he sought to impress upon the world by means of 
his vnritings. Perhaps the chief attraction to him of his grand 
theme — the reason that induced him to prefer it to any other 
which the records of his own or of neighbouring countries 
might have offered — ^was the pointed illustration which it 
furnished of greatness laid low — of a gradual progression to 
the highest pinnacle of glory and prosperous fortune, followed 
by a most calamitous reverse.^ And the principle which may 
be supposed to have determined him in the selection of his 
main subject had the amplest field for exercise when the ques- 
tion was concerning the minor and more ornamental i)ortions 
— the episodes, as they are generally called — which constitute 
so considerable a part and form so remarkable a feature of the 
History. In the choice of the episodes, and stiU more in the 
length to which they should be pursued, and the elaboration 
which should be bestowed on them, Herodotus appears to have 
been guided to a very great extent, though perhaps uncon- 
sciously, by their fitness to inculcate the moral lesson which 
he was especially anxious to impress on men. Hence the 
length and finish of the legend of Croesus, and of the histories 
of Cambyses, Polycrates, Cleomenes, Oroetes,^ &c. ; hence the 
introduction of such tales as those of Helen,^ Glaucus,^ 
Pythius,* Artayctes ; • every occasion is seized to deepen by 
repetition the impression which the main narrative is calcu- 

• His other work, the history of the 
Assyrian Monarchy, wonld similarly 
have comprised the rise of an enor- 
moas power, and a still more complete 

> Herod, iii. 120-128. 

3 Ibid. ii. 113.120. ^ ijji^. vi. 86. 

* Ibid. vii. 27-29, 38, 39. 

» Ibid. ix. 116-120. 




lated to produce ; and thus a space quite disproportionate to 
their historical interest is assigned to certain matters which 
properly belong to the narrative, while others which scarcely 
come within the sphere of the narrative at all, find a place in 
it owing to their moral aspect. 

The credulity of Herodotus in respect of marvels in nature 
and extraordinary customs among the remoter tribes of men 
has undoubtedly had the effect of introducing into his work a I 
number of statements which the progress of our knowledge/ 
shows us to be untrue, and which detract from the value/ 
though they add to the entertainingness of his pages. But 
these fictions are not nearly so many as they have recently 
been made to appear ;* and their occurrence is the necessary 
consequence of our author's adoption of a principle which the 
circumstances of the time justified, and to which the modem 
reader is greatly beholden. In dealing with this class of 
subjects he was obliged to lay down for himself some rule 
concerning the reports which he received from others; and 

* Col. Mure has inclnded among the 
'* incredible or impossible marvels re- 
ported by Herodotas " a considerable 
number of statements which there is 
not the slightest reason to question : — 
as the existence of men without 
names in Western Africa (iv. 184), 
the two singular breeds of sheep in 
Arabift, with the contrivance for pre- 
serving the long tails of the one kind 
from injury (iii. 13), the fact of a race 
dwelling upon scaffoldings in the 
middle of lake Frasias, and living upon 
fish (v. 16), the existence of a bald 
race beyond Scythia (iv. 23), the pecu- 
liar form of cannibalism ascribed to 
the Massagetas (i. 216) and others (iii. 
99 ; iv. 26), and the eccentric customs 
with regard to women of the Nasa- 
mnmiana (iv. 172), Indians (iii. 101), 
Caucasians (L 209) ^^ kc. Many of 
these find close parallels in the ob- 
servations of other travellers (see 
notes on iv. 1S4 ; iii. 113 ; and v. 15) ; 
others are perhaps exaggerations, but 
involve interesting notices of real 

facts (see note on iv. 23). Occasion, 
ally Col. Mure helps his argument by 
a mistranslation, as when ho says that 
Herodotus describes among other curi- 
osities found at Platsea, " a head, the 
skull, jaws, gums, and teeth of which 
were of a single piece of bone " (p. 
379; Herodotus having in fact men- 
tioned a skull without sutures, i.e., one 
in which the sutures did not appear ; 
and also, as a separate marvel, two 
jaws, an upper sknd an under, wherein 
the teeth, incisors, and grinders (yofi- 
iploif "grinders," not "gums*') were 
joined together and formed but a 
single bone, which is a possible result 
of ossification. This is perhaps the 
grossest instance of the kind ; but the 
same spirit of undue leaning is shown 
in representing it as unquestionable 
that Herodotus meant to give his bald 
men (iv. 23) "unusually long and 
bushy beards,** when this is only a 
possible, and not perhaps the most pro- 
bable rendering of the passage. (See 
note ad loc.) 




if he did not resolve to suppress them entirely — a course of 
proceeding that all probably would agree in regretting — he 
could only choose between reporting all alike, whether they 
seemed to him credible or incredible, and making his own 
notion of their credibility the test of their admission or 
rejection. Had he belonged to an age of large experience, 
and to one when travels as extensive as his own were 
common, it might have been best to pursue the latter course, 
trusting to future travellers to complete from their wider 
observation the blanks which he would thus have left 
voluntarily in his descriptions. But Herodotus lived when 
knowledge of distant countries was small, and travels such as 
his very uncommon ; he had been the first Greek visitant in 
many a strange land, and knew that there was little likeh- 
hood of others penetrating further, or even so far as himself. 
He was also conscious that he had beheld in the course of his 
travels a number of marvels which he would have thought 
quite incredible beforehand \^ and hence he felt that, however 
extraordinary the reports which reached him of men or 
countries, they might nevertheless be true. He therefore 
thought it best to give them a place in his work, but with the 
general protest that he did not, by recording a thing, intend 
to declare his own belief in it.® Sometimes he takes the 
liberty of expressing, or by a sly innuendo implying, his 
distinct disbelief;® sometimes by relating the marvel as a fact, 
and not merely as what is said, he lets us see that he gives it 
credence;^ but generally he is content to reserve his own 
opinion, or perhaps to keep his judgment in suspense, and 
simply to report what he had heard from those who professed 
to have correct information.^ And to this judicious resolution 

' Afl the productivenoss of Baby- 
lonia, and tho sizo to which plants 
grow there (i. 193). 

• See book vii. oh. 152. 

• Afl in ii. 28, 66, 67, 131 ; iii. 115, 
116 ; iv. 25, 31, 32, 36, 42, 105 ; v. 10; 
and by an innuendo, iniv. 191. 

^ As in his account of the Phoenix 
(ii. 78), of the bald men (iv. 23-5), of 

the collection of ladanum from tho 
beards of goats (iii. 112), of the sweet 
scent that is wafted from Arabia (iii. 
118), of the Neuri leaving their country 
on account of serpents (iv. 195), of the 
wild asses which did not drink (iv.l92), 
and of the extraordinary skull and jaws 
found on the field of Plataea (ix. 88). 
* See i. 140, 202 j ii. 32, 38, 75 j 




on his part the modem reader is greatly indebted. Had he 
decided on recording nothing but what he positively believed, 
we should have lost altogether a number of the most interest- 
ing portions of his History.' Had he even allowed positive 
disbelief to act as a bar to admission into his pages, we should 
have been deprived of several of the most important notices 
which his work contains. The circumstance which is to us 
incontrovertible evidence of the fact — intrinsically so hard to 
credit — ^that Africa was circumnavigated by the Phoenicians 
as early as the seventh centmry before our era, the marvel 
namely reported by the voyagers, that as they sailed they 
"had the sun on their right,"* was one which Herodotus 
distinctly rejected as surpassing belief. He also saw no 
grounds for admitting the existence of any islands called the 
Gassiterides, or Tin Islands, whence that commodity was 
brought to Greece,*^ nor any sufficient evidence of a sea 
washing Europe upon the north, from which amber was 
obtained;^ so that had he adopted the canon of exclusion 
which his critics prefer, we should have been without the 
earliest mention which has come down to us of our own 
country — we should have lost the proof furnished in the same 
place of the antiquity of our tin trade — and we should have 
been unaware that any information had reached the Greeks 

iii. 20, 23, 104-5, 108-9, 111 ; iv. 96, 
110, 173, 184 ad fin., 195, 196 ; v. 9. 
He often reminds ns in the middle of 
an account that he is neither affirminji^ 
nor denying, but only reporting what 
18 said — as in iv. 96 — wtpl fihy ro<nov 
0$Tt iaturri^ oUrt iy jrurrt^ ri \lriy. 
iv.3.73. \4yw 9^ ravrarii Kfyovtri AljSvc}. 
iv. 195. ravra ci fUp 4<rri iXrjB^ws oitK 
4Sa, rh Z\ \4ytrcu ypd^. We are not 
therefore jentitled to assume, when 
Herodotus makes a statement without 
any special intimation of a doubt of 
its accuracy, that " he believed it 
himself and intended it to be believed 
by others " (Mure, p. 380) , but only that 
he did not actually disbelieve it, and 
that he thought it worthy of the 
attention of hii readers. Herodotus 

does in fact mark by very nice shades 
the degree of crodence which he claims 
for his different statements. Where 
he believes, he states the thing as a 
fact ; whore he doubts, ho tells us it 
was said ; where ho disbelieves, he 
calls the statement in question. 

' As for instance the entire account 
in the second book of the interior of 
Africa, containing notices perhaps of 
the Niger and of Timbnctoo (chs. 32- 
33), and g^eat parts of the description 
of the north African nations in book 
iv. (chs. 168.196.) 

* Herod, iv. 42. txtyoy ifiol fily oif 
TTiarii, 6,\Xt^ 8i 8^ rcy, &s irfpncKdoyrft 
r^y Aifiurjy rhy ^\toy Hffxoy is ri Sc^icC. 

* Herod, iii. 115. 

* Ibid. iii. 115, and compare iv. 45. 




in the time of Herodotus of the existence of the Baltic. It 
may fairly be doubted whether the retrenchment of a certain 
number of traveller's tales, palmed upon the unsuspectingness 
of our author by untruthful persons or humourists/ would 
have compensated for the loss of these important scraps of 
knowledge which we only obtain through his habit of 
reporting even what he disbelieved. 

There is another respect also wherein advantage seems to 
arise to the work of our author from his spirit of credulity, 
which may mitigate the severity of our censures on this defect 
of his mental constitution. Credulity is a necessary element 
in a certain cast of mind, the other constituents of which 
render their possessor peculiarly well fitted for the historian's 
office. The simplicity (ivriOtia) which Plato requires in the 
philosopher® is no less admirable in the writer of history, and 
it is this spirit — frank, childlike, guileless, playful, quaint — 
which lends to the work of Herodotus a great portion of its 
attraction, giving it that air of freshness, truth, and naivete 
which is felt by all readers to be its especial merit. We 
cannot obtain these advantages without their accompanying 
drawback. Writers of the tone of Herodotus, such as 
Froissart, Philip de Comines, Sir John Mandeville, and 

' Even these have perhaps been nn- 
duly multiplied. At least to me the 
following comparison appears to be 
overstrained : — " The translation sup- 
plied to Herodotus x)f the inscription 
on one of the larger pyramids repre- 
sented it as ' recording the quantity of 
onions, leeks, and radishes consumed 
by the labourers employed in the erec- 
tion of the monument.' Were a 
foreigner, igpiorant of the English 
tongue, to ask the mettning of the in. 
soription on the London Monument, of 
some humourist of Fish-street Kill, the 
answer might probably be, that it re- 
corded the number of quarts of porter 
and pipes of tobacco consumed by the 
builders of the column : but it is not 
likely that he would put faith in the 
statement Herodotus however seems, 

in the parallel ca^e, to have believed 
his informants implicitly," &c This 
is to argue that what would be un- 
likely to take place in London in the 
17th century a.d. would have been 
equally unlikely to happen in Egypt 
in the 20th or 25th century b.c. Pro- 
babilities will of course be differently 
measured by different minds ; but to 
me, I confess, it does not seem at all 
out of keeping with what we know of 
primitive times, that the greatness of 
a work should be estimated by the 
quantity of food consumed by those 
engaged on it, or that this estimate 
should be recorded on the work itself. 
Herodotus, it should be borne in mind, 
does not say that this was the only 
* EepubL iii. § la 




others of our old English travellers, are among the most 
charming within the whole range of literature; but their 
writings are uniformly tinged with the same credulous vein 
which is regarded as offensive in our author. 

The charge made against Herodotus of an undue love of 
effect finds its most solid ground in that tone of exaggeration 
and hyperbole which often characterises his narrative, 
especially in its more highly wrought and excited portions. 
His statements that the Athenians at Marathon were ''the 
first Greeks who dared to look upon the Median garb, aind to 
face men clad in that fashion/' ^ and that the island of Samos 
appeared to the commanders of the combined fleet after 
Balamis ''as distant as the Pillars of Hercules,"^ are 
rhetorical exaggerations of this character, and have been 
deservedly reprehended.* Other instances of the tendency 
complained of are, the declaration in the first book that 
Cyrus, by the overthrow of Croesus, became "master of the 
whole of Asia,** ^ and that in the sixth, that if the lonians had 
destroyed the Persian fleet at the battle of Lade, Darius could 
have brought against them " another ^re times as great.'' * To 
the same quality perhaps may be ascribed the readiness with 
which Herodotus accepts from his informants extravagant 
computations of numbers, size, duration, &c.,^ as well as 
improbable statements with regard to regularity® and 
completeness, the latter sometimes contradicted in his own 

» Herod, vi. 112. > Ibid. viiL 132. 
' Hnre'B Lit. of Greece, iv. pp. 403- 

> Chap. 130 ad fin. ; of . iz. 122. 

* Chap. 18. 

* As the size of the armj of Xerxes 
(▼ii 184-7 ; see note ad loo.), the num- 
ber of cities in Egypt in the reign of 
Anuuris (ii. 177), the height of the 
walls of Babylon (i. 178; see note '^ 
ad loc.) and of the pyramids (ii. 124, 
127), the duration of the Egyptian 
monarchy (it 142 ; compare 100), &c. 

* Instances of improbable regularity 
axe, the unbroken descent of the Ly- 

VOL. I. 


dian Heraolide kings in the line of 
direct eucoession during twenty-two 
generations (i. 8), the exact corres- 
pondence in the number of Egyptian 
kings and high-priests of Vulcan dur- 
ing a supposed period of 11,340 years 
(ii. 142), and the unbroken hereditary 
descent of the latter (ii. 143), the oc- 
currence of salt-hills and springs of 
water at intervals of exactly 10 days' 
journey along the whole sandy belt 
extending from Egyptian Thebes to 
the west coast of Africa (iv. 181), the 
wonderful productiveness of all the 
world's extremities (iii. 106-116), Ac. 



Lot and 

His constant desire is to set matters in the most 
striking light — to he lively, novel, forcihle — and to this desire 
not only accuracy, but even at times consistency, is sacrificed. 
It belongs to his romantic and poetic turn of mind to care 
more for the graphic effect of each successive picture than for 
the accord and harmony of the whole. His colours are 
throughout more vivid than the sober truth of history can be 
thought to warrant; and the modem critical reader has 
constantly to supply modifications and qualifications in order 
to bring the general tone of the narrative down to the level of 
actual fact. 

Whether the anecdotical vein in which Herodotus so freely 
indulges is fairly referred to this head may perhaps admit of 
a doubt. A judicious selection of anecdotes forms a portion 
of the task of the historian, who best portrays both individual 
character and the general manners of an age by the help of 
this light and graceful embellishment. That the bulk of our 
author's anecdotes serve their proper purpose in his History 
— ^that they are characteristic and full of instruction, as well 
as pointed and well told — is what no candid and sensible 
reader can hesitate to allow. Perhaps the anecdotical 
tlement may be justly regarded as over largely developed in 

7 The entire freedom of the Greeks 
before Orcesus (i. 6), the complete de- 
straction of the Samians by Otanes 
(iii. 149), the total contrast between 
Greek and Egyptian manners (ii. 35. 
86), the demolition of the walls of Baby. 
Ion by Darius (iii. 159), the geugral 
submission of the insular Greeks to 
Cyrus (i. 169), the absolute invinci- 
bility of the Scythians (iv. 46), and 
the extreme simplicity of the Persians 
before they conquered the Lydians (i. 
71), are specimens. The history of 
the four predecessors of CroBsus upon 
the throne shows that the encroach, 
ments of the Lydians upon the liber- 
ties of the Greeks began with Gyges, 
and continued without intermission 
till the ^complete reduction of the 
lonians, ^olians, and Dorians by 
Croesus (i. 14-16). The prominent 

part played by the Samians in the 
Ionian revolt (vi. 8-15) is incompatible 
with their extermination by Otanes. 
The non.existence of priestesses in 
Egypt— one of the points of contrast 
between that country and Greece — is 
contradicted expressly (L 182 and ii. 
54). It appears from the description 
of Babylon (i. 178-180) that the great 
wall, though gaps may have been 
broken in it, was still standing when 
Herodotus wrote. That all the island, 
ers did not submit to Cyrus is apparent 
from the history of Polycrates (iii. 44). 
The reduction of the Scythians by 
Sesostris is expressly asserted in book 
ii. (chs. 103 and 110). That the Per- 
sians began to lay aside their simple 
habits as soon as they conquered the 
Medes is implied in book i. ch. 126. 




the work, especially if we compare it with other histories ; but 
we must remember that in the time of Herodotus the field of 
literature had not been partitioned out according to our 
modem notions. History in our sense, biography, travels, 
memoirs, &c., had not then been recognised as distinct from 
one another, and the term Itrropla, or '' research," equally 
comprehended them all. Nor is it easy to see where the knife 
could have been applied, and the narrative pruned down and 
stripped of anecdotical details, without the suppression of 
something that we could ill have spared — something really 
valuable towards completing the picture of ancient times 
which Herodotus presents to us. Certainly the portions of 
his work to which the chief objection has been made, as 
consisting of " mere local traditions and gossiping stories," ® 
the " Gorinthiaii court scandal " of the third and fifth books,® 
the accounts of Cyren6 and Barca in the fourth,^ the personal 
history of Solon,* and the wars between Sparta and Tegea in 
the first,' are not wanting in interest ; and though undoubtedly 
we might imagine their loss compensated by the introduction 
of other matters about which we should have more cared to 
hear, yet their mere retrenchment without such compensation, 
which is all that criticism can have any right to demand,* 
would have diminished and not increased the value of the 

• Mure, p. 391. 

• Herod, iii 49-63 ; ▼. 92. Comp. 
i. 23-4. 

> Ibid. !▼. 145.205. 

> Ibid. i. 30.33. » Ibid. i. 66-68. 

• The substance of Col. Mare's com- 
plaints against the episodical portion 
of Herodotus is, that he has not given 
ns something more yalnable in the 
place of what he has actnally given — 
as, for instance, the real history of 
Corinth onder the Cypselidse instead 
of the anecdotes concerning Poriander 
(pp. 292-3), the legislation of Solon in 
Liea of his discoorse with Crcesos (pp. 
894-5), the Hcssenian wars in the place 
of the straggle with Tegea (p. 397, 
note), Ac. Ho thinks we had " a right 

to expect ** that Herodotns in his epi- 
sodical notices of the Greek states, 
shonld have embodied all the " more 
important facts of their history" (p. 
391). Bnt this is to forget that Hero- 
dotus was not writing the history of 
Greece, bnt the history of a particalar 
war. We had no " right to expect " 
anything from him bat what possessed 
a direct bearing upon the straggle be- 
tween Greece and Persia. As Niobahr 
observes, "the work of Herodotus is 
not an ancient Greek history, but has 
an epic character; it has a unity 
amid its episodes, which are retarding 
motives," — delaying yet helping the 
main story. (See Niebuhr's Lectures 
on Ancient History, vol. i. p. 168, E. T.) 




work as a record of facts,*^ and would scarcely have improved 
it even in an artistic point of view. The double narrative in 
the third book is skilfully devised to keep up that amount of 
attention to Greek affairs which the author desires to 
maintain, in subordination to the main subject of the earlier 
or introductory portion of his work — the rise and progress of 
the Persian empire, and resembles the underplot in a play or 
a novel, which agreeably relieves the chief story. It also, as 
has been already observed,® reflects and repeats, in the 
histories of Periander and of Polycrates, the main ethical 
teaching of the work, thereby at once deepening the moral 
impression, and helping to diffuse a uniform tone throughout 
the volumes. The history of the Greek colonies in Africa is 
not only interesting in itself, and in the light it throws upon 
the principles of Hellenic colonisation,"^ but it serves to 
introduce that sketch of the neighbouring nations which has 
always been recognised as one of the most valuable of our 
author's episodes. The fragment of the life of Solon is no 
doubt in some degree legendary, but he must be a stem critic 
who would have the heart to desire its retrenchment, seeing 
that with it must have disappeared almost the whole story of 
Croesus, the most beautiful and touching in the entire History. 
The wars of Sparta with Tegea had an intrinsic importance 
quite sufficient to justify their introduction, and the syn- 
chronism of the last with the time of the embassy sent by 
Croesus, which forms the sole occasion of the reference in the 
first book to Spartan history, fully explains its occurrence in 
the place assigned to it. Adverse criticism therefore seems 
to fail in pointing out any mere surplusage even in the 
anecdotical portion of the work, and the truth appears to be 
that the episodical matter in Herodotus is, on the whole, 

• The Btoriea of Periander aud Poly, 
crates give na the portrait of the Greek 
tyrant in hig worst, and in his inter- 
mediate, as that of Pisistratns does in 
his best character. Without them the 
abhorrence expressed by Herodorns 
for mlers of this class would strike 

the reader as strange and exaggerated. 

® See above, page 92. 

7 Especially upon the leading part 
taken by the Delphic oracle in direct- 
ing the course of colonisation, and 
forcing the growth of colonies. 


singiilarly well chosen and effective, being lively, varied, and 
replete with interest. 

To say that Herodotus has no claim to rank as a critical 
historian is simply to note that, having been bom before the 
rise of a certain form of the historical science, he did not 
happen to invent it. That in intelligence, sagacity, and 
practical good sense he was greatly in advance of his 
predecessors and even of his contemporaries, is what no one 
who carefoUy reads the fragments left us of the early Greek 
historians will hesitate to allow. But a great gulf separates 
him from Thucydides, the real founder of the Critical School. 
From the judgment of Thucydides on obscure points connected 
with the history of the ancient world, the modem critic, if he 
ventures to dissent at aU, dissents with the utmost diffidence. 
The opinions of Herodotus have no such weight. They are 
views which an intelligent man living in the fifth century b.c. 
might entertain, and as such they are entitled to attentive 
consideration, but they have no binding authority. Herodotus 
belongs distinctly to the Bomantic School: with him the 
imagination is in the ascendant and not the reason ; his mind 
is poetic, and he is especially disqualified to form sound 
judgments concerning events remote from his own day on 
account of his full belief in the popular mythology, which 
placed gods and heroes upon the earth at no very distant 
period. He does not apply the same canons of credibihty to 
the past and present, or, like Thucydides, view human nature 
and the general course of mundane events as always the 
same.® Thus his history of early times is little more than 
myth and fable, embodying often important traditions, but 
delivered as he received it, without any exercise upon it of 
critical discrimination. In his history of times near his own 
the case is different ; he there brings his judgment into play, 
compares and sifts different accounts, exhibits sense and 
intelligence, and draws conclusions for the most part just and 
rational.^ Still even in this portion of the history we miss 

* Thncjd. L 22. | * For acknowledgmenie on thia head 




qualities which go to form our ideal of the perfect historian, 
and with which we are familiarised through Thucydides and 
his school ; we miss those habits of accuracy which we have 
learnt to regard as among the primary qualifications of the 
historical writer ; we come upon discrepancies, contradictions, 
suspicious repetitions, and the like ; we find an utter careless- 
ness of chronology; above all, we miss that philosophic 
insight into the real causes of political transactions, the 
moving influences whence great events proceed, which com- 
municates, according to modem notions, its soul to history, 
making it a living and speaking monitor instead of a mere 
pictured image of bygone times and circumstances. 

The principal discrepancies, contradictions, &c., in the 
Herodotean narrative have either been already glanced at or 
will be pointed out in the notes on the text. One of the most 
common is a want of harmony in the different portions of any 
estimate that is given of numbers. If both the items and the 
total of a sum are mentioned, they are rather more likely to 
disagree than to agree. Making the most liberal allowance 
for corruptions of the text (to which numbers are specially 
liable), it would still seem that these frequent disagreements 
must have arisen from some defect in the author : either he 
was not an adept in arithmetic, or he did not take the trouble 
to go through the calculations and see that his statements 
taUied. Numerical discrepancies of the kind described occur 
in his accounts of the duration of the Median empire,^ of the 
tribute which the Persian king drew from the satrapies,^ of 
the distance from Sardis to Susa,^ and of the sea from 
Egyptian Thebes,* of the number of the Greek fleet at 
Salamis,^ &c. ; while other errors disfigure his computation 

on the part of an adverse critic, see 
Hare's Lit. of Greece, vol. iv. pp. 354 
and 410. 

' Herod, i 130. See the Critical 
Essays appended to Book i., Essaj iii. 
ad fin. 

' Ibid. ill. 90.95. See note ad loo. 

» Ibid. V. 52-54 

* Ibid. ii. 7-9. From the aea to 
Heliopolis is said to be 1500 stades, 
from Heliopolis to Thebes 4860 stades, 
but from the sea to Thebes only 6120, 
instead of 6360, stades. 

* Ibid, viii 48-48. See note ad loc. 




of the number of days in the full term of human life,* and of 
the duration of the monarchy in Egypt.^ The only calcula- 
tions of any extent which do not contain an arithmetical error 
are the numbers of the Greek fle«^ at Miletus® and Arte- 
misium,® of the fleet ^® and army of Xerxes," and of the Greek 
army at PlataBa." Contradictions connected with his habit of 
exaggeration have been already noticed.^ Others, arising 
apparently from mere carelessness, are the discrepancies 
between his description of the size of Scythia, and big 
account of the expeditions of Darius;" between his date 
for Psammetichus "^ and his estimate of 700 years from 

• Herod. L 32. The double error— 
dearly arising from mero carelessneBS 
— ^whereby the solar year is made to 
ayerage 375 days, is explained in the 
note on the passage. 

' Ibid, ii 142. The error hero is 
but slight, yet it is cnrioas. Having 
to estimate the number of years con- 
tained in 341 generations of men, 
Herodotus first lays it down that three 
generations go to the century. He 
then says, correctly, that 300 genera. 
Uona will make 10,000 years ; but in 
estimating the odd 41 generations, he 
has a curious error. Forty .one gene- 
rations, he says, will make 1340 years ; 
whereas they will really make 1366| 
years. If a round number were in- 
tended, it should have been 1360 or 

• Ibid, vi 8. » Ibid. viii. 1, 2. 
"> Ibid. Tii 89-95. " Ibid. vii. 184-6. 
» Ibid. ix. 28, 29. 

» Supri, p. 98. CoL Mure adds to 
these a number of discrepancies which 
are more imaginary than reaL (See 
Appendix J. to his 4th volume.) He 
considers the statement that Crcesus 
was " the person who first within the 
knowledge of Herodotus commenced 
aggressions on the Greeks" (L 5), as 
conflicting not only with the narrative 
in chs. 14.16, but also with the ac- 
count of the Ionian colonisation of 
Asia Minor in ch. 146. But Hero- 
dotus does not say that the Ghreeks 
colonised at the expense of the Lydians, 
who probably dwelt some way inland 

at that time. Again, Col. Mure ob- 
jects to the panegjTic upon the Alc- 
msDonidaB for their consistent hatred 
of tyrants (vi. 121), because Megacles 
had on one occasion helped Pisis- 
tratus to return (i. 61) ; but this is at 
the utmost a slight rhetorical exagge- 
ration. The AlcmaBonida3, from the 
time when Megacles broke with Pisis. 
tratus, had been most consistent in 
their opposition. (See i 64j v. 62, 
63, 66, ^c.) He also sees a contra- 
diction between book v. ch. 40, where 
Anaxandrides is said, in maintaining 
two wives and two households at the 
same time, to have " done an act very 
contrary to Spartan feeling,*' and book 
vi. ch. 61, et seq., where King Ariston 
is said to have had two wives, and to 
have even married a third, without 
any censure or remark at all. Hero 
the flaw is altogether in the critic's 
spectacles : the strange and unusual 
thing being, according to Herodotus, 
not divorce and remarriage, as in 
Ariston's case (vi 63), but the having 
two wives and two households at one 
and the same time. Ariston never 
had two wives at once. 

" Herod, iv. 101-133. See note on 
book iv. ch. 133. 

^^ This date cannot be flxed esoactly, 
as Herodotus does not tell ns in which 
year of the reign of Cambyses he be. 
lieves him to have invaded Egypt. 
Assuming, however, the year B.C. 525 
for this event, and taking the years of 
the last six khigs from Herodotus, we 




Anysis to AmyrtaBUS ; ^ between his two accounts of the 
Telmessian prodigy of the female beard ; * his two estimates 
of the length of the day's journey ; ® and his two statements 
of the time that intervened between the first and second 
expeditions directed against Greece by Darius.^ Bepetitions 
having an awkward and suspicious appearance are — the warn- . 
ings given to CroBsus by Sandanis,^ and to Darius and Xerxes 
by Artabanus;* the similar prayers of (Eobazus and of 
Pythius, with their similar result ; ^ the parallel reproaches 
addressed to Astyages by Harpagus, and to Demaratus by 
Leotychides ; ® and the anecdote, told of Cyrus, of Arta- 
phemes, and of Darius, that on hearing of one of the leading 
Greek nations, they asked " who they were ? "• 

The want of a standard chronological era cannot be charged 
against Herodotus as a fault,^^ since it was a defect of the age 
in which he lived, and one with which even Thucydides is 

obtain B.C. 671 or B.C. 672 for the year 
of the acoession of Psammetichas — a 
date accordant with the synchronism 
which made him contemporary with 
Cyazares (i. 105), and agreeing nearly 
with the views of Manetha 

^ Herod, ii 140. According to this 
statement nearly 500 years intervene 
between Anysis and Psammetichua 
Tet Anysis is contemporary with Sa- 
baoo, who puts to death Neco, the 
father of Psammetichas, and drives 
Psammetichns himself into exile ! (See 
Herod, ii 152.) 

* Ibid. I 175, and viii. 104 Com- 
pare note ^ page 88. 

» Ibid. iv. 101, and v. 58. This, 
however, may be explained on the 
sapposition that in v. 58 Herodotus is 
■peaking of the day's march of an 
army. (See note ad loc.) 

* In ch. 46 of book vi Herodotus 
makes the destmction of their walls 
by the Thasians at the bidding of 
Ihurins follow "in the year after" 
(BtvT^ Ircl) the loss of the fleet of 
Mardonios at Athos. In ch. 48 he 
says that (nfter the submission of the 
Thasians (fierii rovro) Darius sent 
orders for the collection of transports; 

and in ch. 95 these orders are said to 
have been g^ven "the year before" 
(t^ jrporip^ frci) the expedition of 
Datis. But towards the end of the 
same chapter the disaster at Athos is 
referred to the year immediately pre. 
ceding that expedition. 

* Uerod, L 71. 

* Ibid. iv. 83, and vii. 10. 

7 Ibid. iv. 84, and vii. 88, 39. 
» Ibid, i 129, and id. 67. 

* Ibid, i 153 ; and v. 73 and 105. 

^ CoL Mare taxes Herodotus with 
being even here ** behind the spirit of 
the age " (p. 417), and refers to the 
chronological works of Hellanicus and 
Charon as having introduced a " frame- 
work on which the course of the 
national history was adjusted." But 
there is no evidence to prove that 
either Charon or Hellanicus made use 
of their chronological schemes in their 
histories; and the latter is expressly 
taxed by Thucydides with inexactness 
in his assignment of dates (i. 97). Be- 
sides, it has been already shown 
(supril, p. 39, note ^) that Hellanicus 
wrote later than Herodotus, and that 
the works of Charon were probably 
unknown to him (pp. 48, 44). 




equally taxable. It jj^s not untU TimaBUS introduced the 
reckoning by Olympfids some generations after Herodotus, 
that Greek chronology came to be put on a satisfactory 
footing. Herodotus, however, is unnecessarily loose and in- 
accurate in his chronological statements, and evidently regards 
the whole subject as unimportant. His reckoning events from 
" his own time " ^ is vague and indeterminate, since we do not 
know whether he means from his birth, from his acme, or 
from the time of his last recension, a doubt involving a differ- 
ence of more than half a century. Even when he seems to 
profess exactness, there is always some omission, some un- 
estimated period, which precludes us from constructing a 
complete chronological scheme by means of the data which 
he furnishes.* His synchronisms are on the whole less in- 
correct than might have been expected;' but occasional 
mistakes occur which a very little care might have obviated.* 
We may conclude from these that he was not in the habit of 
tabulating his dates or determining synchronisms in any 
other way than by means of popular rumour. 

> See Herod, ii 53, and 145. A 
nearer approach to ezactnesB is made 
when the time of his visit to a coontry 
is assumed as the epoch from which to 
calculate (see ii 13, and 44) ; bat still 
even in these cases there is some un- 

' The Lydian chronology is incom- 
plete from his omitting to state in 
which year of Cyras Sardis was taken. 
The Assyrian &ils from the term of 
the anarchy not being specified. The 
later Egyptian has the same defect as 
the Lyd^Bui : we are not told in which 
year of the reign of Cambyses he led 
his expedition into £gypt. For the 
early Egjrptian and the Babylonian 
we have only on estimate hj genera- 
tions. The Scythian is indefinite, 
since, from the vagae way in which 
the interval between the Thracian 
campaign of Megabazas and the break- 
ing oat of the Ionian revolt is spoken 
of {ob woWhp XP^^^^ tuffats 
tcmtcmf ^if), it is impossible to fix the 

year of Darias* attack, on which the 
commencement of the Scythian mon- 
archy is made to depend (iv. 7). The 
only chronology which is exact and 
oontinaoas is 'the Modo-Persian. Wo 
may coont back from the siege of 
Sestos to the first year of Cyras, and 
thence to the accession of Dciocos, 
which Herodotas placed 229 years 
before that event, or b.c. 708. 

' As those of CyaxaroB with Alyattes 
(i. 73-4), and of both with Psammeti- 
chas (i 105), of Sennacherib with 
ScthoB the saccessor of Sabaco (ii 
141), of Amsisis and Labynetas (Na- 
banahit) with Crojsas (i. 77), Ac. 

^ As the placing the embassy of 
CrGDsas to Sparta after the final settle- 
ment of Pisistratas on the throne of 
Athens (i 65), the apparently making 
Periandcr and Alcaaas contemporaries 
with Pisistratas and his son Hegesis- 
tratas (v. 94-5), the assignment of 
the legislation of Lycorgos to the reign 
of Labotas in Sparta (i 65), dto. 



Lips and 

But the great defect of Herodotus as an historian is his 
want of insight into the causes, bearing, and interconnexion 
of the events which he records. It is not merely that he is 
deficient in political discernment, and so relates with the 
utmost baldness, and with striking omissions and misstate- 
ments, the constitutional changes whose occurrence he is led 
to notice ; ^ but even with regard to the important historical 
vicissitudes which form the special subject of his narrative, 
he exhibits the same inability to penetrate below the surface, 
and to appreciate or even to conceive aright their true origin 
and character. Little personal tales and anecdotes take the 
place of those investigations into the condition of nations or 
into the grounds of hostility between races on which critical 
writers of history are wont to lay the chief stress in their 
accounts of wars, rebellions, conquests, and the like. The 
personal ambition of Cyrus is made the sole cause of the 
revolt of the Persians from the Medes ; ® to the resentment bf 
Harpagus is attributed its success ; "^ the attack on Egypt is 
traced to advice given to Cambyses by an eye-doctor;® the 
Magian revolt is the mere doing of Patizeithes ; ® Darius is 
led to form a design against Greece by a suggestion of Demo- 
cedes ; ^® the lonians rebel because Aristagoras has become 
involved in difficulties.^^ Through the whole History there 
runs a similar vein : if war breaks out between Media and 
Lydia, it is because a band of Scyths have caused King! 
Cyaxares to banquet on human flesh and have then fled to 
Alyattes ; ^^ if King Darius sends an expedition against Samos, 
it is to reward a man who presented to him a scarlet cloak ; ^' 
if the Lydians after their conquest by the Persians lose their 
military spirit and grow eflfeminate, it is owing to Croesus 
having advised Cyrus to give them the breeding of women ; ^* 
everywhere little reasons are alleged, which, even if they 

' See the notes on book i olu 65, 
book iv. eh. 145, book ▼. chs. 67-9, and 
book vi. chs. 43 and 83. 

• Herod, i 126-7. ' Ibid, cha 127-8. 

8 Ibid. iii. 1. » Ibid. iii. 61. 

1® Ibid, iii 134-5. " Ibid. v. 35-a 

" Ibid. I 73.4. " Ibid, iii 139. 
" Ibid, i 165. 




existed, would not be the causes of the events traced to them, 
but only the occasions upon which the real causes came into 
play.^ The tales, however, which take the place of more 
philosophical inquiries are for the most part (it would seem) 
apocryphal, having been invented to account for the occur- 
rences by those who failed to trace them to any deeper source. 
From the same defect of insight extreme improbabilities are 
accepted by Herodotus without the slightest objection, and 
diflBculties, from being unperceived, are left unexplained. 
To give a single instance of each: — Herodotus reports, 
apparently without any hesitation, the Persian tale concern- 
ing the motive which induced Cambyses to invade Egypt — 
that, having applied to Amasis for his daughter in marriage, 
Amasis pretended to comply, but sent him the daughter of 
Apries, a "young girl" of great personal charms, whom 
Cambyses received among his wives, and regarded with much 
favour, till one day he learnt from her lips the trick that had 
been played him, whereupon he declared war against the 
deceiver. Now as Amasis had reigned, according to Hero- 
dotus, forty-four years from the death of Apries, and the 
discovery of the trick was followed closely by the invasion, 
which Amasis did not live to see, it is plain that this ** beau- 
tiful young girl,'* who had been palmed off upon Cambyses as 
the reigning king's daughter, must have been a woman of 
between forty and fifty years of age.^ Again — Herodotus tells 

' The statement of Aristotle con- 
cerning internal troubles applies with 
eqnal or greater force to wars between 
nations : iic fwcpw &AA' oh ircpl fwcpwv 
— yfytfmrrat (PoL v. 3, § 1. Compare 
Polyb. iii. 6, 7). 

* See Herod, iii. 1, and compare ii. 
172, and iii. 10. Col. More's criticism 
(Lit. of Greece, iV. p. 419> in this 
instance is perfectly jnst. Almost as 
gross an instance of the same fanlt 
occnrsin the history of My cerinns. My- 
cerinns sncceeds his uncle, Chephren, 
who has reigned &6 years (ii. 127-8). 
He reigns happily for a certain indefi- 
nite time, during which he bnilds a 
pyramid of no Bmall mxe ; when, lo ! 

an oracle announces to him that ho has 
bnt six more years to live. Mycerinus 
is indignant that ho should be cot o£E 
in the flower of his age — reproaches 
the oracle — and determines to falsify 
it by liviDg twelve years in six. So 
he gives himself np to jollity, drinks 
and feasts, night as well as day, 
during the time left him, and dies as 
the oracle foretold. Herodotns seems 
quite to have forgotten that Mycerinus 
most have been sixty at the least, when 
he received the warning, and would 
probably have been considerably more, 
as his father Cheops reigned 50 years, 
and so would not be likely to leave 
behind him a very young son. 





UB, and probability folly bears him out, that the Persian army 
mider Datis and Artaphemes landed at Marathon because 
it was the most favourable position in all Attica for the 
manoeuvres of cavalry,' in which arm the Persian strength 
chiefly lay; yet when he comes to describe the battle no 
mention whatever is made of any part taken in it by the 
Persian horse, nor any account given of their absence or 
inaction.* A similiar inability to appreciate difficulties appears 
in his account of the numbers at ThermopylflB, where no 
attempt is made to reconcile the apparent discrepancy between 
the list of the forces, the Spartan inscription, and the actual 
number of the slain,^ nor any explanation offered of those 
circumstances connected with the conduct of the Thebans in 
the battle which have provoked hostile criticism both in 
ancient and modem times.* 

There are certain other respects in which Herodotus has 
been regarded as exhibiting a want of critical acumen, viz., 
in his geographical and meteorological disquisitions, in his 
linguistic efforts, and in his treatment of the subject of 
mythology.^ These may be touched with the utmost brevity, 
since his value as an historian is but very slightly affected by 
the opinion which may be formed of his success or failure in 
such matters. As a general geographer it must be allowed 
that his views were indistinct ; though they can scarcely be 
said with truth to have been "crudely digested."® Looking 

• Herod, vi. 102. 

* We are left to derive from another 
writer (Suidas ad yog. XupU iinrfTs) the 
infonnation that Miltiades took advan- 
tage of the absence of the Persian 
cavalry, who had been forced to go to 
a distance for forage, to bring on the 

* According to Herodotos, the en- 
tire nnmber of the troops, exclosive of 
the Helots, was between 4000 and 
6000. Of those there came from the 
Peloponnese 3100 (vii. 202, 203.) Yet 
the inscription on the spot, which 
would certainly not exaggerate the 
number on the Greek side, said 4000 

Peloponneeians (vii. 228). Again, the 
number slain in the last struggle is 
estimated at 4000 (viii. 25) ; but only 
300 Spartans and 700 Thespians were 
previously spoken of as remaining (vii. 
222). Those anomalies may perhaps 
admit of explanation ; what is espe- 
cially remarkable about them is, that 
Herodotus seems utterly unconscious 
of any difficulty. 

* See Plut. de Malign. Herod, ii. 
pp. 866, 866 ; Grote, Hist, of Greece, v. 
pp. 122, 123 ; Mure's Lit. of Greece, iv. 
Appendix K., pp. 642-54-1. 

' See Colonel Mure's remarks, pp. 
424.430. B Mure, p. 424. 




upon geography as an experimental science, he did not profess 
more knowledge with regard to it than had been collected by 
observation up to his time. He seems to have formed no 
distinct opinion on the shape of the earth, or the configuration 
of land and water, since he could not find that the land had 
been explored to its limits, either towards the north or towards 
the east.® He knew, however, enough of the projection of 
Arabia and of Africa into the southern sea to be aware that 
the circular plane of HecatsBus was a pure fiction, and as such 
he ridiculed it.^® Within the limits of his knowledge he is, for 
the most part, very clear and precise. He divides the known 
world into three parts, Europe, Asia, and Africa.^^ Of these, 
Asia and Africa lie to the south, Europe is to the north, and 
extends along the other two.^ The boundary line between 
Europe and Asia runs due east, consisting of the Phasis, the 
south coast of the Caspian, the river Araxes, and a line pro- 
duced thence as far as the land continues.^ The boundary 
between Asia and Africa is the west frontier of Egypt,^* not 
the isthmus of Suez, or the Nile, whichj last was commonly 
made the boundary.^* The general contour of the Mediter- 
ranean, the Propontis, the Black Sea, ani^ the Sea of Azof, is 
weU understood by him,^® as is the shape c^f Greece, Italy, Asia 
Minor, Syria, and the north coast of Africa j He knows that the 
Mediterranean communicates with the ocean, and that the 
ocean extends round Africa to the Arabian Gulf and ErythrsBan 
Sea.^^ He is also aware that the Caspian is a sea by itseK.^® 
He has tolerably correct views on the courses of the NDe,^® 
Danube," Halys,«i Tigris,^* Euphrates,^^ Indus,^ Dnieper,^ 

' Herod, iii. 116, sub fin. ; iv. 40, 45 ; 

"• Ibid. iv. 86. 

" Ibid. ii. 16; iv. 46. The word 
vaed by Herodotus is, of coorBe, not 
Afirica, but Libya. 


» Ibid. iv. 40 and 46. 

w Ibid. ii. 17 ; iT. 89, ad fin. 

» Ibid.iil7,andiT.46. 

w Ibid. iv. 85, 86. 

»7 Ibid. i. 202, ad fin. ; iv. 42-44. 

" Ibid. i. 203. 

w Ibid. ii. 17, 29-31. 

20 Ibid. u. 33 ; iv. 47-49. 

" Ibid. i. 6, 72. 

« Ibid. i. 189, 193 ; v. 20. 

«3 Ibid. i. 180. 2* Ibid. iv. 44. 

^ Ibid. iv. 53, 




Dniester,^ and other Scythian rivers.* He is confased, how- 
ever, in his account of the Araxes,' incorrect (apparently) in 
his description of the Scythian rivers east of the Dnieper,* 
and ignorant of many facts which we should have expected him 
to know, as the existence of the Persian Gulf, of the peninsula 
of Hindustan, and of the sea of Aral, the size of the Palus 
Mseotis,^ &c. In his descriptions of countries that he knows 
he is graphic and striking,^ not confining himself to the 
strictly geographical features, but noting also geological pecu- 
liarities, as the increase of land, the quaUty of soil, and the 
like.'' On the whole, he will certainly bear comparison as 
a descriptive geographer with any author anterior to Strabo ; 
and, on some important points, as the true character of the 
Caspian Sea, he is better informed than even that writer.^ 

With regard to meteorology his notions are certainly such 
as seem to us in the highest degree absurd and extraordinary. 
He regards heat and cold as inherent in the winds themselves, 
not as connected with any solar influence.* The winds 
control the sun, whom they drive southwards in winter, only 
allowing him to resume his natural course at the approach 
of spring.^® The phenomena, however, of evaporation,^^ and 
even of radiation," seem to be tolerably well understood by 
Herodotus; and if on the whole his meteorological concep- 
tions must be pronounced crude and false, we should remember 
that real physical science did not see the light till the* time of 
Aristotle; and it may be questioned whether there is not 
something more healthy in the physical speculations of our 
author, which evince an inquiring mind and one that went to 
nature itself for arguments and analogies,^® than in the 
physico-metaphysical theories of the Ionic School, which 

* Herod, iv. 51-2. 

« As the Pruth (iv. 48), the Bug 
(iy. 52), and the Don or Tanais (iy. 

' See note on book i. ch. 202. 

* Herod, iv. 54-56. * Ibid. iv. 86. 
^ Take, for instance, the description 

of Thessalj in book yii. (oh. 129), or 

that of Egypt in book ii. (chs. 6-12). 

7 Herod, ii. 7, 10, 12; iy. 47, 191, 

8 Comp. Strab. ii. p. 160. 

» Herod, ii. 24-5. ^^ Ibid. 1. 8. c. 
" Loo. cit. » Ch. 27. 

.* See ii. 20, 22, 23. 




fonned the farthest reach whereto Science (fialsely so called) 
had attained in his day. His geological speculations in par- 
ticular are in advance of his age, and not unfrequently 
anticipate lines of thought which are generally regarded as 
the discoyeiies of persons living at the present time.^ 

On the subject of mythology Herodotus seems to have held 
the common views of his countrymen : he accepted the myths 
in simple faith, and, where naturally led to do so, reported 
them as he had heard them. He drew, however, a very marked 
line between the mythological age and the historical,' and 
confined his narrative almost entirely to the latter, thereby 
offering a strong contrast to the writers who had preceded 
him, since in their works mythology either took the place of 
history ,• or at least was largely intermixed with it.* 

The philological deficiencies of Herodotus have been already 
admitted.^ There is no reason to believe that he was a master 
of any language beside his own. He appears, however, to 
have regarded the languages of other nations with less con- 
tempt than was felt towards them by the Greeks generally ; 
and the explanations which he gives of foreign words, though 
not always to be depended on,* are at once indicative of his 

^ Herodotus perceives the operation 
of the two agencies of fire and water 
in bringing the earth into its actnal 
condition (ii. 5, 10; vii. 129, ad fin.). 
He regards the changes as having 
ooeapied enormons periods of time — 
tens of tboosands of years (ii. 11, 
ad fin.). His whole reasoning con- 
cerning the formation of the valley of 
the Nile, although perhaps erroneous 
in fact, is in perfect accordance with 
the principles laid down bj Sir C. 
Ljell; and in his anticipations of 
what woald happen if the Nile were 
made to empty itself into the head of 
the Red Sea that geologist wonld, it 
is probable, entirely ooncnr. The alia, 
vial character of the great Thessa- 
Han basin, and the disraption of the 
gorge at Temp^, would similarly be 
admitted. Herodotas again is quite 
correct in his remarks about the for- 

mation of land at the mouths of 
great rivers, as at the mouth of the 
Scamander, of the Majander, and of 
the Achelous (ii. 10 ; see note ad loc.). 
His notice of the projection of the 
Delta from the general line of the 
African coast, as a proof of its 
recent origin (ii. 11) is also sound in 

' See especially iii. 122; but com- 
pare also i. 5, ii. 120, &o. ; and note 
the omission of the mythological 
period, of which he was well aware 
(ii. 43, 46, 144-5, and 156), from the 
history of E^ypt. 

» Vide supr^, p. 36. 

* See Thucyd. i. 21. 
» Snprk, p. 66. 

• As in the caBe of the word Pirdmis 
(ii. 143), and of the names of the 
Persian monarchs (vi. 98). 




unwearied activity in the pursuit of knowledge of all kinds, 
and possess an absolute value in the eyes of the comparative 
philologer.^ On the etymology of Greek words he very rarely 
touches ; in such cases his criticism seems neither better nor 
worse than that of other Greek writers, anterior to the rise of 
the Alexandrian school.® 

The merits of Herodotus as a writer have never been ques- 
tioned. Those who make the lowest estimate of his qualifica- 
tions as an historian, are profuse in their acknowledgments of 
his beauties of composition and style, by which they consider 
that other commentators upon his work have been imduly 
biassed in his favour, and led to overrate his historical 
accuracy.* Scarcely a dissentient voice is to be found on this 
point among critical authorities, whether ancient or modem, 
who all agree in upholding our author as a model of his own 
peculiar order of composition.^ In the concluding portion of 
this notice an endeavour will be made to point out the special 
excellencies which justify this universal judgment, while, at 
the same time, attention will be drawn to certain qualifying 
statements whereby the most recent of our author's critics 

^ See the use made by Grimm of 
Herodotus' 8 Scythian words in his 
History of the German Langnago, 
vol. i. pp. 218-237. 

® Herodotus derives Bths from riOrifju 
(ii. 52), which is at least as good as 
Plato's derivation from e4oo (Cratyl. p. 
897) C), and is plausible, though pro- 
bably wrong. (See note ad loc.) His 
derivation of aiyU from a?| (iv. 189), 
on the other hand, is correct enough. 
What he means by deriving the names 
of the Greek gods from Egypt (ii. 50) 
is not clear. Except in the cases of 
Themis (the Egyptian Thmei)^ and of 
Ath^n^ and HephsDstus, which may 
have been formed from Keith and 
Phtha, there seems to be no real con. 

• Speaking of the bulk of modem 
commentators of Herodotus, CoL Mure 
says : " Dazzled by the rich profusion 
of his historical facts, by the grandeur 

of his historical combinations, by the 
charm of his style, by the truthfulness 
of intention and amiability of temper 
which beam in every page, and by the 
entertainment derived even from the 
defective portions of his narrative, 
they are led to place his work and . 
himself, in regard to the higher quali- 
fications of the historian, on the same 
level with that occupied by Thucy- 
dides." (Lit. of Greece, vol. iv. p. 356.) 
* Cf. Arist. Khet. iii. 9 ; Dionys. Hal. 
Ep. ad Cn. Pomp. 3 ; Jud. de Thuc. 23 ; 
Quinctilian. Inst. Orat. IX. iv. 19, and 
X. i. 73 ; Lucian. Herod. 1, vol. iv. p. 
116; Athen. Deipn. iii. 15, p. 309; 
Schlegel's Lectures on the History of 
Literature, vol. i. p. 44, E. T. ; Mat- 
thias, Manual of Greek and Roman 
Literatm-e, p. 57, E. T. ; Mure's 
Literature of Greece, vol. iv. pp. 451- 

Wmirwet. UNITT. II3 

has lessened the effect of those general enlogioms which he 
has passed upon the literary merits of the History. 

The most important essential of every literary composition, 
be it poem, treatise, history, tale, or aught else, is unity. 
Upon this depends our power of viewing the composition as a 
whole, and of deriving pleasure from the grasp that we thereby 
obtain of it, as well as from our perception of the harmony 
and mutual adaptation of the parts, the progress and conduct 
of the argument, and the interconnexion of the various por- 
tions with one another. In few subjects is it so difficult to 
secure this fmidamental groundwork of literary excellence as 
in history. The unity furnished by mere identity of country 
or of race falls short of what is required; and hence most 
general histories are wearisome and -deficient in interest. 
Herodotus, by selecting for the subject of his work a special 
portion of the history of Greece and confining himself to the 
narration of events having a bearing, direct or indirect, upon 
his main topic, has obtained a unity of action sufficient to 
satisfy the most stringent demands of art, equal, indeed, to 
that which characterises the masterpieces of the imagination. 
Instead of undertaking the complex and difficult task of 
writing the history of the Hellenic race during a given period, 
he sits down with the one (primary) object of faithfully record- 
ing the events of a particular war. It is not, as has been 
generally said,* the conflict of races, the antagonism between 
Europe and Asia^ nor even that antagonism in its culminating 
form — the struggle between Greece and Persia — that he puts 
before him as his proper subject. Had his views embraced 
this whole conflict, the Argonautic expedition, the Trojan war, 
the invasion of Europe by the Teucrians and Mysians,® the 
frequent incursions into Asia of the Cimmerians and the 
Treres, perhaps even the settlement of the Greeks upon the 
Asiatic shores, would have claimed their place as integral 

* See Niebnhr'a Lectnreeon Ancient 
Hwtanr,Tol. i. p. 167, S. T. Dahlmann's 
Life of HerodotoB, ch. Tii. § 1 (p. 102, 

VOL. I. 

E. T.) ; Mnre's Literature of Greece, 
vol. iv. pp. 464, 455. 
* Herod, yii. 20, ad fin. 


portions of his narrative. His absolute renunciation of some 
of these subjects,* and his cursory notice * or entire omission 
of others,* indicate that he proposed to himself a far narrower 
task than the relation of the long course of rivalry between 
the Asiatic and European races. Nor did he even intend to 
give us an account of the entire struggle between Greece and 
Persia. His work, though not finished throughout, is con- 
cluded;^ and its termination with the return of the Greek 
fleet from Sestos, distinctly shows that it was not his object 
to trace the entire history of the Graeco-Persian struggle, since 
that struggle continued for thirty years afterwards with 
scarcely any intermission, until the arrangement known as 
the Peace of CaUias. The real intention of Herodotus was to 
write the history of the Persian War of Invasion — ^the contest 
which commenced with the first expedition of Mardonius, and 
terminated with the entire discomfiture of the vast fleet and 
army collected and led against Greece by Xerxes. The por- 
tion of his narrative which is anterior to the expedition of 
Mardonius is of the nature of an introduction, and in this a 
double design may be traced, the main object of the writer 
being to give an account of the rise, growth, and progress of 
the great Empire which had been the antagonist of Greece in 
the struggle, and his secondary aim to note the previous 
occasions whereon the two races had been brought into hostile 

* As the Trojan war, and the voyage 
of the Argonants (i. 5). 

* As of the Tencrian and Mjsian 
expedition (vii. 20), and of the Ionian 
colonisation (i. 146 ; vii. 94). 

* As of the incorsions of the Treres, 
and the Cimmerian ravages preceding 
their grand attack. (See the Critical 
Esrjay 8 appended to this Book, Essay i.) 

7 It is astonishing to find an author 
of Dahlmann's discernment maintain- 
ing that the extant vrork of Herodotus 
is an "uncompleted performance;" 
that he " intended to relate the expe- 
dition of Cimon, the great Egyptian 
'war of the Athenians, and possibly the 
interference of the Persians in the 

Peloponnesian war, had his life been 
extended* (Life, l.s. c). He admits 
that the *' uncompleted performance " 
has " all the value of a work of art, 
rounded off in all its parts, and con- 
cluded with thoughtful deliberation ; " 
but attempts no account of the happy 
chance which has given this perf ectioa 
to a mere fragment. Col. Mure, on 
the other hand, has some justremarkB 
(p. 468) on the fitness of the point 
selected by Herodotus for the con- 
clusion of his narrative, and the 
appropriateness of his winding np 
the whole by the final return home of 
the victorious Athenian fleet from the 




contact. Both these points are connected intiinately with the 
principal object of the history, the one being necessary in 
order to a correct appreciation of the greatness of the contest 
and the glory gained by those with whom the victory rested, 
and the other giving the causes from which the quarrel 
sprang, and throwing important light on the course of the 
invasion and the conduct of the invaders. 

Had Herodotus confined himself rigidly to these three inter- 
connected heads of narration, the growth of the Persian 
Empire, the previous hostilities between Greece and Persia, 
and the actual conduct of the great war, his history would 
have been meagre and deficient in variety. To avoid this 
consequence, he takes every opportunity which presents itself 
of divergmg from his main narrative and interweaving with it 
the vast stores of his varied knowledge, whether historical, 
geographical, or antiquarian. He thus contrived to set before 
his countrymen a general picture of the world, of its various 
races, and of the previous history of those nations which 
possessed one ; ^ thereby giving a grandeur and breadth to his 
work, which places it in ike very first rank of historical com- 
positions.' At the same time he took care to diversify his 
pages by interspersing amid his more serious matter tales, 
anecdotes, and descriptions of a lighter character, which are 
very graceful appendages to the main narrative, and happily 
relieve the gravity of its general tone. The variety and rich- 
ness of the episodical matter in Herodotus forms thus one of 
his most striking and obvious characteristics, and is noticed by 
aU critics ; * but in this very profusion there is a fresh peril, 

' There are two remarkable excep. 
tiona which require notice. Herodotms 
gircB OS no history either of FhcBnicia 
or of Carthage. In the latter case 
there is sufficient reason for his 
silenoe, but his omission of any sketch 
of Pbcnucian history is yery sur- 
prising. He certainly ought to have 
giren an account of the oonqnest or 
submission of the great naval power, 
in which case a sketch of its previons 
history would hare been almost neces. 

sary. Is it possible that ignorance 
kept him silent P 

• The only parallels to Herodotus 
in this respect which modem literature 
furnishes, are Gibbon's Decline and 
Fall of Rome, and the recent work of 
Mr. Grote. 

^ See, among others, Dahlmann 

Sife of Herod, p. 164), Niebuhr 
ectures on Ancient History, vol. i. 
p. 168), and Col. Mure (Lit. of Greece, 
vol. iv. pp. 458-462). 




or rather a multitude of perils, and it may be questioned 
whether he has altogether escaped them. Episodes are 
dangerous to unity. They may overlay the main narrative 
and oppress it by their mere weight and number : they may 
be awkward and ill-timed, interrupting the thread of the 
narrative at improper places : or they may be incongruous in 
matter, and so break in upon the harmony which ought to 
characterise a work of art. In Herodotus the amount of the 
episodical matter is so great that these dangers are increased 
proportionally. Nearly one-half of the work is of this second- 
ary and subsidiary character.* It is, however, palpable to 
every reader who possesses the mere average amount of taste 
and critical discernment, that at least the great danger has 
been escaped, and that the episodes of Herodotus, notwith- 
standing their extraordinary length and number, do not injure 
the unity of his work, or imduly overcharge his narrative. 
This result, which ** surprises'* the modem critic,® has been 
ascribed with reason to ** two principal causes — ^the propriety 
of the occasion and mode in which the episodical matter is 
introduced, and the distinctness of form and substance which 
the author has imparted to his principal masses.'' ^ By the 
exercise of great care and judgment, as well as of a good deal 
of self-restraint * in these two respects, Herodotus has suc- 
ceeded in completely subordinating his episodes to his main 
subject, and has prevented them from entangling, encumber- 
ing, or even unpleasantly interrupting the general narrative. 

While, however, the mode in which Herodotus has dealt 
with his episodical matter, is allowed to be in the main 
admirable, and to constitute one of the triumphs of his genius, 
objection is made to a certain number of his episodes as 
inappropriate, while others are regarded as misplaced. The 

■ Vide supriL, p. 27. 

> Mure, p. 469. 
I * Ibid. loo. cit. 

* This self-restraint is shown both 
in his abstaining from the introduction 
of important heads of history, if they 
werenot connected natuxally with his 

narrative, and also in his treatment 
of the histories of countries upon which 
his subject led him to enter. On the 
latter point, see Col. Mure's remarks, 
vol. iv. pp. 460, 461. To the former 
head may be referred the omission of 
any history of Carthage. 


history of the Greek colonies of Northern Africa, contained in 
the fourth book,^ and the sketch of the native Libyan races, 
which forms a part of the same digression,^ are thought to be 
superfluous, the connexion between the affairs of the countries 
described and the main narrative being too sUght to justify 
the introduction, at any rate, of such lengthy notices.® The 
story of Bhampsinitus, in the second book,' is objected to, as 
beneath the dignity of history,^^ and the legend of Athamas in 
the seventh," as at once frivolous and irrelevant." Among 
the digressions considered to be out of place ^ are the " Sum- 
mary of Universal Geography," included in the chapter on 
Scythia,^* the account of the river Aces in Book III.," the 
story of the amours of Xerxes,^* and the tale of Artayctes 
and the fried fish in Book IX.,^^ the letter of Demaratus at 
the close of Book VII.," and the anecdote of Cyrus, with 
which the work is made to terminate.^' Much of this criti- 
cism is too minute to need examination, at any rate in this 
place. The irrelevancy or inconvenient position of occasional 
single chapters or parts of chapters, constitutes so slight a 
blemish, that the Uterary merit of the work is scarcely 
affected thereby, even if every alleged case be allowed to be 
without excuse.** In only four or five instances is the charge 
made at all serious, since in no greater number is the " inap- 
propriate " or " misplaced " episode one of any length. The 
longest of all is the digression on Cyrene and Barca, where the 
connexion with the main narrative is thought to be ** slight," 
and the subject itself to possess "little historical interest."*^ 
But, if we regard it as one of the especial objects of Herodotus, 

of Artayctes, the letter of Demaratus, 
and the anecdote of Cyrus. Some- 
thing might bo said in favour of almost 
all these short episodes ; but even 
wore it otherwise, the difficulty (ad- 
mitted by Col. Mure, p. 464, note >) 
under which ancient authors lay, from 
the non-existence in their time of such 
inventions as foot-notes and appen. 
dices, would be sufficient to excuse a 
far more numerous list of apparently 
frivolous or ill-placed digressions. 
" Mure, p. 462. 

• ChB. 145.167 and 200-205. 

7 Chs. 168.199. " Mure, p. 462. 

• Ch. 121. ^ Mure, p. 464. 
" Ch. 197. " Mure, p. 465. 
" Mure, pp. 463, 464 and note ; also 

pp. 468, 469. 

M Herod, ir. 87 et seq. 

« Ibid. ch. 117. 

>• Ibid. ix. 108-113. ^ Ibid. ch. 120. 

w Ibid. ch. 239. » Ibid. ix. 122. 

• Fire cases are of this extreme 
brerity, viz., the legend of Athamas, 
the acooant of the river Aces, the tale 


in tho introrltictory portion of hifl work, to trace the progress 
of hoHtiliti(;H Tx^tween Persia and Greece, we shall see that an 
account of tho expedition of Aryandes was absolutely neces- 
nary ; and as that expedition was not a mere wanton aggres- 
Mon, but was intimately connected with the internal politics 
of Cyrtiudt some sketch of the previous history of that State 
was indispenHablo. With regard to the intrinsic interest of 
tho opisodo, opinions may vary.* To the Greeks, however, of 
his own ago, for whom Herodotus wrote, the history of an 
outlying jiortion of the Hellenic world, rarely visited and little 
known by tho mass of tho nation, especially of one so pecu- 
liarly circumstanced as Cyrono, alone amid barbarous tribes 
and tho solo independent representative of the Greek name in 
Africa,* may have boon far more interesting than it is to us, 
more inti^rosting than any of those omitted histories which, it 
is thotight, Herodotus should havo put in its place. It has 
boon observed that wo cannot always perceive the object of 
Herodotus in introducing his episcKles ; ® sometimes, no doubt, 
ho nuiy havo intended '* to supplant incorrect accounts,*** but 
porhapH his design as often was to communicate information 
on obscuro points ; and this object may have led him to treat 
at 80 much length tho history of the African settlements. 

With roganl to tho digression upon the Libyan nations, it 
must bo acknowledged that it is introduced in a somewhat 
forced and artifloial manner. Had Aryandes, satrap of Egypt, 
really dosignod tho reduction of these tribes under his ma8ter*8 
«way. and mulertaken an expedition commensurate with that 
grand luul nuvgnificont object, Herodotus would have been as 
tMy ontitlod to give an account of them as he is to describe 

* Ti^" nw th«» n»rTmtiv«» iip|H<<yr» to i (ch. 161); the const itnt ion which that 

pn^«»nl •»»vi>nil }H^iit» vi vwy gn"«t : legislator devised (ibid.); and tho 

{nttMrt«t> I haro eWwhere m^ktHl the ' transplantation of the captured Bar- 

im|H\r«anl li|(ht tKat it ihc\>ws upon , cleans to the remote Bactria (ch. 204). 

f4i«k intliiomxk which the tVl|4iio oracle '■ ' The ct^lonv of Nancrasis was with. 

«^tMV«MHl 1^ the C\>UT«e of Grrek ' in the jurisdiction of the mien of 

e^>i\Mkati\w. i>ther inteir««ting fea. Kgrpt, and besides was a mere 

liiTv« are the oriirina) fHeihlliness, and - flMtivr. 

MibMH^wmt Ki>«tiUtT of Uie natiTes < ' Niebnhr'a Lectures on Ancient 

(<>Imi. I&8 and l«4^\i tK» Cttltiim in of a - History, toI i. p. 1€^ note. 

(VMtv^ l«p»)alKvr» Mid Im » J M ajy u w • * Ibed. U>c. est. 


the Scythians and their neighbours. But there are grounds 
ibr disbelieving the statement of Herodotus with regard to 
Aryandes' designs. As Dahhnann long ago observed, '^ no such 
plan appears in the actual enterprise." ^ Herodotus seems to 
have ascribed to the Persian governor an intention which he 
never entertained, in order to famish himself with an ample 
pretext for bringing in a description possessing the features 
which he especially affected — ^novelty, strangeness, and live- 
liness. He need not, however, have had recourse to this 
artifice. Apart from any such project on the part of the 
Persian chief, Herodotus was entitled to describe the nations 
through whose country the troops passed, and the various 
tribes bordering upon the Cyrenaica; after which he might 
fairly have brought in the rest of his information. This 
information was wanted to complete the geographic sketch of 
the known world which he wished to set before his readers ; 
and the right place for it was certainly that where the tribes in 
question were, at least partially, brought into hostile collision 
with Persia, and where an account was given of Cyrene and 
Barca, colonies situated in. the midst of them, and established 
in order to open a trade between them and the Greeks. 

The episode on universal geography is thought to be at once 
superfluous and out of place.® In addition to the detailed 
notices of particular countries which Herodotus so constantly 
supplies, no general description of the earth was, it is said, 
" either necessary or desirable." This criticism ignores what 
its author elsewhere acknowledges — the intimate connexion of 
geography with history when Herodotus wrote — ^the fact that 
the " accurate division of literary labour which is consequent 
on a general advance of scientific pursuit," ^ was not made till 
long subsequently. As geography and history in this early 
time "went hand in hand,"® it would seem that in a history 
which, despite the restricted aim of its main narrative, tended 
to become so nearly universal by means of digressions and 

• Life of Herodotug, ch. TiL § 6, I •Mure, p. 463. ' Ibid. p. 456. 

p. 123. I • Ibid, p. 68. 



Ltfv and 

episodes, the geographic element required, and naturally 
obtained, a parallel expansion. With respect to the place 
where the " description of the earth,** if admitted at all, 
should have been inserted, which, it is suggested, was *' the 
earlier portion of the text," that portion "which treats of the 
great central nations of the world, Assyrians, Egyptians, and 
Persians,*** it is at least open to question whether a better 
opportunity could have been foimd for introducing the descrip- 
tion without violence in any of the earher books than is 
furnished by the inquiry concerning the existence of Hyper- 
boreans, to which the account of Scythia leads naturally, or 
whether any position would have been more suitable for it than 
a niche in that compartment of the work which is specially 
and pre-eminently geographic. As the general account of 
the earth is a question concerning boundaries and extremities, 
its occurrence "in connexion with a remote and barbarous 
extremity,** ^ is not inappropriate, but the contrary. 

The story of the amours of Xerxes interrupts, it must be 
allowed, somewhat disagreeably, the course of the principal 
narrative, then rapidly verging to a conclusion, and is objec- 
tionable in an artistic point of view. It seems, however, to 
be exactly one of those cases in which "the historian of real 
transactions lies under a disadvantage as compared with tKe 
author in the more imaginative branches of composition.*'* 
To have omitted the relation altogether would have been to 
leave incomplete the portraiture of the character of Xerxes, as 
well as to fail in showing the gross corruption, so characteristic 
of an Oriental dynasty, into which the Persian court had sunk, 
within two generations, from the simplicity of Cyrus. And 
if the story was to be inserted, where could it most naturally 
come in ? It belonged in time to the last months of the war,' 
and personally attached to a certain Masistes, whom nothing 
brought upon the scene till after Mycale.* Historic propriety. 

• Mure, p. 463. 
' Ibid. p. 452. 

• Herod, ix. 108. 

^ Ibid. loo. oit. 

artt» yvycuK6s. 
* Ibid. ch. 107. 




therefore, required its introduction in a place where it would 
detract from artistic beauty ; and Herodotus, wisely preferring 
matter to manner, submitted to an artistic blemish for the 
sake of an historic gain. 

The legend of Bhampsinitus, which is correctly said to 
" belong to that primeval common ftmd of low romance " * of 
which traces exist in the nursery stories and other tales of 
nations the most remote and diverse, would certainly offend a 
cultivated taste if it occurred in a history of the Critical 
School ; but in one which belongs so decidedly to the Romantic 
School it may well be borne, since it is not out of keeping with 
the general tone of that style of writing. Standing where it 
does, it serves to relieve the heaviness of a mere catalogue of 
royal names and deeds, the dullest form in which history ever 
presents itself. 

On the whole there seems to be reason to acquiesce in the 
judgment of Dahlmann, who expresses his " astonishment " at 
hearing Herodotus censured for his episodes, and maintains 
that they are "almost universally connected with his main 
object, and inserted in their places with a beauty which highly 
distinguishes them."* 

Next in order to the two merits of epic unity in plan, and 
rich yet well-arranged and appropriate episode, both of which 
the work of Herodotus seems to possess in a high degree, may 
be mentioned the excellency of his character-drawing, which, 
whether nations or individuals are its object, is remarkably 
successful and effective. His portraiture of the principal 
nations with which his narrative is concerned — ^the Persians, 
the Athenians, and the Spartans — is most graphic and 
striking. Brave, lively, spirited, capable of sharp sayings 
and repartees,^ but vain, weak, impulsive, and hopelessly 
servile towards their lords,® the ancient Persians stand out in 

* Hure, p. 464. 

* Life of Herodotne, oh. iz. p. 164, 

' Herod. L 187, 141; yL 1; iriii.88, 

* See particolArlj the story of Prex. 

aspes (iii. 85). Note also their gnbrnis- 
sion to the whip (yii. &6, 223). It re- 
quires an aooumnlation of the most 
gprievons injuries to goad a Persian 
into rerolt (see iz. 118). 



Life and 

his pages as completely depicted by a few masterly strokes as 
their modem descendants have been by the many touches of 
a Chardin or a Morier. Clearly marked out from other bar- 
barian races by a lightness and sprightliness of character, 
which brought them near to the Hellenic type, yet vividly 
contrasted with the Greeks by their passionate abandon • and 
slavish submission to the caprices of despotic power, they 
possess in the pages of Herodotus an individuaUty which is 
a guarantee of truth, and which serves very remarkably to 
connect them with that peculiar Oriental people — the ** French- 
men of the East," as they have been called — at present 
inhabiting their country. Active, vivacious, intelligent, 
sparkling, even graceful, but without pride or dignity, supple, 
sycophantic, always either tyrant or slave, the modem Persian 
contrasts strongly with the other races of the East, who are 
either mde, bold, proud, and freedom-loving, like the Kurds 
and Affghans, or listless and apathetic, like the Hindoos. This 
curious continuity of character, which however is not without 
a parallel,^ very strongly confirms the truthfulness of our 
author, who is thus shown, even in what might seem to be 
the mere ornamental portion of his work, to have confined 
himself to a representation of actual reaUties. 

To the Persian character that of the Greeks offers, in 
many points, a strong contrast — a contrast which is most 
clearly seen in that form of the Greek character which dis- 
tinguished the races of the Doric stock, and attained its fullest 
development among the Spartans. Here again the picture 
drawn by Herodotus exhibits great power and skill. By a 
small number of carefully-managed touches, by a few well- 
chosen anecdotes, and by occasional terse remarks, he contrives 
to set the Spartans before us, both as individuals and as a 
nation, more graphically than perhaps any other writer. 
Their pride and independent spirit, their entire and willing 

• Herod, viii. 99 ; ix. 24. 
^ A Bimilar tenacity of character is 
obsenrable in the case of the Greeks 

themselves, as also in the Germans 
(comp. Tacit. German.), and the Spa- 




sabmission to their laws, their firmness and solidity as troops, 
their stem sententiousness, relieved by a touch of humour,* 
are vividly displayed in his narrative. At the same time he 
does not shrink from showing the dark side of their character. 
The selfishness, backwardness, and over-caution of their public 
policy ,• their cunning and dupUcity upon occasion,* their in- 
ability to resist corrupting influences and readiness to take 
bribes,* their cruelty and entire want of compassion, whether 
towards friend or foe,® are all distinctly noted, and complete a 
portrait not more striking in its features than consonant with 
all that we know from other sources of the leading people of 

Similar fidelity and descriptive power are shown in the 
picture which he gives us of the Athenians. Like the 
Spartans, they are independent and freedom-loving, brave and 
skilful in war, patriotic, and, from the time that they obtain 
a form of government suited to their wants, fondly attached to 
it. Like them, too, they are cruel and unsparing towards 
their adversaries.'^ Unlike them, they are open in their pubUc 
policy, active and enterprising almost to rashness, impulsive 
and so changeable in their conduct,® vain rather than proud,® 
as troops possessing more dash than firmness,^® in manners 
refined and elegant;" witty ,^ hospitable," magnificent," fond 
of display,^ capable upon occasion of greater moderation and 
self-denial than most Greeks," and even possessing to a certain 

« Herod, iii. 46 ; rii. 226 ; ix. 91. 
•Ibid. i. 152; vi. 106; viii. 4, 63 j 
ix. 6-8, 46-7. 

<Ibid. vi. 79, 108; ix. 10. 

• Ibid. iii. 148 ; V. 61 ; vi. 72 ; ix. 82. 

• Ibid. Ti. 79-80; rii. 133, 231 (cf. 
ix. 71, and i. 82 ad fin.) 

' Ibid. T. 71 ; vii. 133, 137, ad fin. 
■ Comp. ▼. 97, 103, with vi. 21 ; and 
tL 132 with 136. 

• Ibid. L 148. 

^ The Athenians are rarely snccess- 
fnl when they act merely on the de- 
fensive — ^they are defeated with great 
slaogfater when attacked by the Sgine- 

tans on one occasion (v. 85-7) ; they 
fly before the mixed levies of Pisis- 
tratns (i.63) ; they share in the Ionian 
defeat at Ephesus (v. 102). On the 
other hand their victories are gained 
by the vigour and gallantry of their 
attack (vi. 112; ix.70, 102). 

" Horod. vi. 128-130. 

*» Ibid. viii. 59, 125. " Ibid. vi. 35. 

^* Note the frequent mention of their 
success in the games, a great sign of 
liberal expenditure (Herod, v. 71 ; vi. 
86, 103, 122, 125, &c.) 

^ Herod, viii. 124. 

"Ibid. vii. 144; ix. 27. 


extent a generous spirit of Pan-Hellenism.* Herodotus, in 
his admiration of the services rendered by the Athenians to 
the common cause during the great war, has perhaps over- 
estimated their pretensions to this last quaUty; at least it 
will be found that enlightened self-interest suflSciently explains 
their conduct during that struggle ; and circumstances occur- 
ring both before and after it clearly show, that they had no 
scruples about calling in the Persians against their own 
coimtrymen when they expected to gain by it.* It ought not 
to be forgotten in any estimate of the Athenian character, 
that they set the example of seeking aid from Persia against 
their Hellenic enemies. The circumstances of the time no 
doubt were trying, and the resolve not to accept aid at the 
sacrifice of their independence was worthy of their high spirit 
as a nation; but still the fact remains, that the common 
enemy first learnt through the invitation of Athens how 
much she had to hope from the internal quarrels and mutual 
jealousies of the Greek states. 

In depicting other nations besides these three — who play the 
principal parts in his story — Herodotus has succeeded best 
with the varieties of barbarism existing upon the outskirts of 
the civilized world, and least well with those nations among 
whom refinement and cultivation were at the highest. He 
seems to have experienced a difficulty in appreciating any 
other phase of civihsation than that which had been developed 
by the Greeks. His portraiture of the Egyptians, despite its 
elaborate finish, is singularly ineffective ; while in the case of 
the Lydians and Babylonians, he scarcely presents us with 
any distinctive national features. On the other hand, his 
pictures of the Scythians, the Thracians, and the wild tribes 
of Northern Africa, are exceedingly happy, the various forms 
of barbarism being well contrasted and carefully distinguished 
from one another. 

Among the individuals most effectively portrayed by our 

1 Herod. Tii. 189 ; TiiL 8 and 144. | «Ibid.v.73; Thncyd. Tiii. 48 et eeq. 



author, may be mentioned the four Persian monarchs with 
whom his narrative is concerned, the Spartan kings, Gleo- 
menes, Leonidas, and Pausanius, the Athenian statesmen and 
generals, Themistocles and Aristides, the tyrants Periander, 
Polycrates, Pisistratus, and HistisBus the Milesian, Amasis 
the Egyptian king, and Croesus of Lydia. The various shades 
of Oriental character and temperament have never been better 
depicted than in the representation given by Herodotus of the 
first four Achsemenian kings — Cyrus, the simple, hardy, 
vigorous mountain chief, endowed with a vast ambition and 
with great military genius, changing, as his empire enlarged, 
into the kind and friendly paternal monarch — clement, 
witty, poUte, familiar with his people ; Cambyses, the first 
form of the Eastern tyrant, inheriting his father's vigour and 
much of his talent, but spoilt by the circumstances of his birth 
and breeding, violent, rash, headstrong, incapable of self- 
restraint, furious at opposition, not only cruel but brutal; 
Darius, the model Oriental prince, brave, sagacious, astute, 
great in the arts both of war * and peace, the organizer and 
consolidator as well as the extender of the empire, a man of 
kind and warm feeling, strongly attached to his friends,* 
clement and even generous towards conquered foes,^ only 
severe upon system where the well-being of the empire required 
an example to be made ; ^ and Xerxes, the second and inferior 
form of the tyrant, weak and puerile as well as cruel and selfish, 
fickle, timid, licentious, luxurious, easily worked on by 
courtiers and women, superstitious, vainglorious, destitute 
of all real magnanimity, only upon occasion ostentatiously 

' Col. Mure sajs that " the general 
policy of Darius was directed rather to 
the consolidation than the extension of 
bis dominions" (p. 476), and denies 
his possession of an j military genius ; 
but the king who added to the empire 
the Indian satrapy (Herod, iy. 44), the 
Chersonese (yi. 83), great part of 
Thrace (iv. 93 ; ▼. 10), Pssonia (y. 15), 
Kaoedon (yL 44), and the Greek 
islands (iiL 149 ;y. 26.7 ; yi. 49), can. 
not be considered to haye disregarded 

the enlargement of his empire ; and 
the successful subduer of so many re. 
volts (i. 130 ; iii. 150-160 ; cf. Behist. 
Ins.), the conqueror of Thrace (iy. 93) 
and the not unsuccessful conductor of 
the Scythian campaign, cannot be fairly 
said to have wanted military talent. 

* Herod, iii. 140, 160 j iy. 143} y. 
11 ; vi. 30. 

» Ibid. yi. 20, 119. 

• Ibid. iii. 119, 128, 169 ; iy. 84, 
166; y. 25. 




parading a generous act when nothing had occurred to ruffle 
his feelings^ Nor is Herodotus less successful in his Hellenic 
portraits. Themistocles is certainly better drawn by Herodotus 
then by Thucydides. His political wisdom and clearsighted- 
ness, his wit and ready invention, his fertiUty in expedients, 
his strong love of intrigue, his curious combination of patriot- 
ism with selfishness, his laxity of principle amounting to 
positive dishonesty,® are all vividly exhibited, and form a whole 
which is at once more graphic and more complete than the 
sketch furnished by the Attic writer. The character of Aris- 
tides presents a new point for admiration in the skill with 
which it is hit ofif with the fewest possible touches. Magnani- 
mous, disinterestedly patriotic, transcending all his country- 
men in excellence of moral character and especially in probity, 
the simple straightforward statesman comes before us on a 
single occasion,® and his features are portrayed without effort 
in a few sentences. In painting the Greek tyrants, whom he 
so much detested, Herodotus has resisted the temptation of 
representing them all in the darkest colours, and has carefully 
graduated his portraits from the atrocious cruelties and 
horrible outrages of Periander to the wise moderation and 
studied mildness of Pisistratus. The Spartan character, 
again, is correctly given under its various aspects, Leonidas 
being the idealized type of perfect Spartan heroism, while 
Pausanias is a more ordinary specimen of their nobler class 
of mind, brave and generous, but easily wrought upon by 
corrupting influences,^ Cleomenes and Eurybiades being repre- 
sentatives of the two forms of evil to which Spartans were 
most prone, — Eurybiades weak, timorous, vacillating, and 
incapable; Geomenes cruel, false, and violent, — both alike 
open to take bribes, and ready to sacrifice the interests of the 
state to their own selfish ends. 

7 Herod, yii. 29, 136. 

8 See Herod, viii. 4-6, 58, '108-110, 

» Herod, viii. 78-9. 

^ See the anecdote of Fansanias 

banqnettiog in the tent of Mardonins 
(ix. 82), where the first working of the 
corrupting influence of wealth and 
luxnry on a Spartan ia very cleverly 



It is not often that Herodotus bestows much pains on the 
character of an individual who does not belong to one or other 
of the two nations with which he is principally concerned, viz. 
the Greeks and the Persians. But in the sketches of Crcesus 
and Amasis he has departed from his general rule, and has 
presented us with two pictures of Oriental monarchs, offering 
a remarkable contrast to the Persian kings and to each other. 
The character of Croesus is rather Hellenic than barbarian ; 
he is the mildest and most amiable of despots ; a tender and 
affectionate parent, a faithfal friend, a benevolent man. He 
loves his Lydians even after they have ceased to be his sub- 
jects ; * he kindly receives the fugitive Adrastus, who has no 
claim on his protection, and freely forgives him after he has 
been the unhappy means of inflicting on him the most grievous 
of injuries. Besides possessing these soft and gentle qualities, 
he is hospitable and magnificent, lavishly liberal to those from 
whom he has received any benefit,^ religious, and though 
unduly elated by prosperity, yet in the hour of adversity not 
unduly depressed, but capable of profiting by the lessons of 
experience. Amasis is a ruler of almost equal mildness ; like 
Crcesus, he has a leaning towards the Greeks ; he is also, like 
him, prosperous, and distinguished for liberality and magnifi- 
cence ; * Egypt flourishes greatly under his government, and 
both his internal administration and his foreign policy are 
eminently successful.* Thus far there is a remarkable paral- 
lelism between the character and circumstances of the 
Egyptian and the Lydian monarch; but in other respects 
they are made to exhibit a strong and pointed contrast. 
Amasis is a man of low birth and loose habits ; from his 
youth he has lived by his wits an easy, gay, jovial life, 
winning the favour both of monarch and people by his free 
manners and ready but coarse humour. When he becomes 
king, though he devotes himself with great zeal to the 
despatch of business, and enacts laws of the utmost severity 

« Herod, i. 156. I * Ibid. ii. 175-6, 180, 182. 

* Dnd. i. 60J2, 54 ; ri. 125. | ^ Ibid, it 177, 182 ad fin. 



against such idle and unworthy members of society as he had 
himself been in time past, yet he carries with him into his new 
station the same love of good living and deUght in low and 
vulgar pleasantry which had signalised the early portion of his 
career. This last feature, which is the leading one of his 
character, effectually distinguishes him from the elegant and 
poUshed Croesus, bom in the purple, and bred up amid all the 
refined amenities of a luxurious court. In another respect the 
opposition between the two princes is even more striking — so 
striking, indeed, as almost to appear artificial. Amasis, 
though owing more to fortune than even the Lydian monarch, 
is not dazzled by her favours, or led to forget the instability 
of all things human, and the special danger to the over-pros- 
perous man from the "jealousy" of Heaven. His letter to 
Polycrates* strongly marks this fact, which in the mind of. 
Herodotus would serve to account for the continued and un- 
chequered prosperity of the Egyptian king — so different from 
the terrible reverse which befell the too confident Lydian. 

The power of Herodotus to portray female character is also 
worthy of notice. Unlike Thucydides, who passes over in con- 
temptuous silence the part played by women in the trans- 
actions which he undertakes to record,^ Herodotus seizes 
every opportunity of adding variety and zest to his narrative 
by carefully introducing to our notice the females concerned 
in his events. In Nitocris we have the ideal of a great 
Oriental queen — wise, grand, magnificent, ostentatious; pro- 
phetic in her foresight, clever in her designs, splendid in the 
execution of whatever works she takes in hand ; the beautifier 
at once and the skilful protector of her capital ; bent on com- 
bining utility with ornament, and in her works of utility 
having regard to the benefit of the great mass of her subjects. 
With her Tomyris, the other female character of the first 
book, contrasts remarkably. Tomyris is the perfection of a 

• Herod, iii. 40. very remarkable. Thucydides men- 

^ The omission of any reference to tions but three women by name in the 

Aspasia, considering her political in- whole course of his narrative* (See 

flaenoe and connexion with FiarideB, is ii. 2, 101 ; iv. 133 ; vi. &9.) 

Wbitikqs. GOBGO — ARTKMI8TA. J29 

barbaric, as Niiocris is of a civilised princess. Bold and 
warlike rather than sagacious or pmdent, noble, careless, 
confident, fall of passion, she meets the great conqueror of 
the East with a defiant, almost with a triumphant, air, chival- 
rously invites him to cross her frontier unmolested, only 
anxious for a fair fight, disdainful of petty manoeuvres, and 
unsuspicious of artifices. When the civilised monarch has 
deluded and entrapped her son, she shows a single trait of 
womanly softness, consenting to waive the vindication of her 
people's honour upon the condition of receiving back her 
captured child. On the failure of her application and the 
extinction of her last hope by the voluntary death of that un- 
happy youth, nothing is left her but an undying grief and a 
fierce and quick revenge. At the head of her troops she 
.engages and defeats her son's destroyer; and as he falls in 
the thick of the fight, she vents her wrath on his dead body 
by insult, mutilation, and defilement, in the true spirit of an 
outraged and infuriated barbarian. The whole character is in 
excellent keeping, and, however unhistoric, is certainly most 
true to nature. 

As the diversities of female character among the non-Hel- 
lenic races are exhibited to our view in the persons of Tomyris 
and Nitocris, so in the slight sketch of Gorgo and the more 
elaborate portraiture of Artemisia Herodotus has given us 
opposite and agreeable specimens of female character among 
the Greeks. Gorgo is the noble, Artemisia the clever woman. 
Gorgo's sphere is the domestic circle, Artemisia's the world. 
Artemisia leads fleets, advises monarchs, fights battles, governs 
a kingdom — Gorgo saves her father in the hour of temptation, 
and becomes the fitting bride of the gallant and patriotic 
Leonidas. Still neither character is a mere simple one. 
Gorgo adds sense and intelligence to her high moral qualities,^ 
and Artemisia real courage to her prudence and dexterity;® 
but these features are subordinate, and do not disturb the 

• Herod, yii. ad fin. » Ibid. iii. 119. 

VOL. I. K 

130 TRA.QIC POWER. Liri axd 

general effect of contrast, which is such as above stated. 
Although both ladies belong to races of the Doric stock, Gorgo 
alone is the true model of a Dorian woman; Artemisia 
represents female perfection, not according to the Doric, but 
according to the ordinary Greek type. The Dorians of Asia 
seem to have lost most of their distinctive features by contact 
with their Ionian neighbours, and Artemisia may be almost 
regarded as an embodiment of Ionian excellence. 

It greatly enhances the artistic merit of these portraitures, 
and the pleasure which the reader derives from them, that the 
characters are made to exhibit themselves upon the scene by 
word and action, and are not formally set before him by the 
historian. Herodotus never condescends to describe a cha- 
racter. His men and women act and speak for themselves, 
and thereby leave an impression of life and individuality on 
the reader's mind, which the most skilful word-painting would 
have failed of producing. This is one of the advantages 
arising from that large use by Herodotus of the dramatic 
element in his history, in which it is allowed that he " has 
been far more generally successful than any other classical 
historian." ^ 

To his skill in character-drawing Herodotus adds a power 
of pathos in which few writers, whether historians or others, 
have been his equals. The stories of the wife of Intaphemes 
weeping and lamenting continually at the king's gate,* of 
Psammenitus sitting in the suburb and seeing his daughter 
employed in servile oflBces and his son led to death, yet 
" showing no sign," but bursting into tears when an old friend 
accosted him and asked an alms ; ^ of Lycophron silently and 
sadly enduring everything rather than hold converse with a 
father who had slain his mother, and himself suffering for his 
father's cruelties at the moment when a prosperous career 
seemed about to open on him, are examples of this excellence 
within the compass of a single book which it would be' diffi- 

^ Maze, p. 600. * Jbid. iii. 14. > Ibid. iii. 50-S. 




enlt to i>aranel from the entire writings of any other historical 
author. But the most eminent instance of the merit in qaes« 
tion is to be fomid in the story of CroBSUS. It has been well 
observed that ** the Tolimie of popular romance contains few 
more beautifolly told tales than that of the death of Atys;"^ 
and the praise might be extended to the whole narrative of the 
life of Croesus from the visit of Solon to the scene upon the 
pyre, which is a masterpiece of pathos, exhibiting tragic power 
of the highest order. The same power is exhibited in a less 
degree in the stories of the siege of Xanthus,*^ of Tomyris/ of 
(Eobasus,^ of Pythius,^ of Boges,^ and of Masistes.^ In the 
last of these cases, and perhaps in one or two others, the 
horrible has somewhat too large a share ; in all, however, the 
pathetic is an important and well-developed element. 

It has been maintained that Herodotus, though excellent 
in tragic scenes, was ''deficient in the sense of the comic 
properly so called."* His "good stories" and "clever 
sayings " are thought to be " not only devoid of true wit, but 
among the most insipid of his anecdotical details." The 
correctness of this judgment may be questioned, not only on 
the general ground that tragic and comic power go together,' 
but by an appeal to fact — the experimentum crucis in such a 
case. It is, of course, not to be expected in a grave and 
serious production like a history, that humorous features 
should be of frequent occurrence : the author's possession of 
the quality of humour will be sufficiently shown if even 
occasionally he diversifies his narrative by anecdotes or 
remarks of a ludicrous character. Now in the work of Hero- 
dotus there are several stories of which the predominant 
characteristic is the humorous ; as, very palpably, the tale of 
Alcnueon's visit to the treasury of Croesus, when, having 
'' clothed himself in a loose tunic, which he made to bag 
greatiy at the waist, and placed upon his feet the widest 

* Mure's Lit. of Greece, vol. iv. p. 605. 
» Herod. L 176. • Ibid. i. 212.4. 
' Ibid. iv. 84. • Ibid. viL 89.40. 

• Ibid. vii. 107. » Ibid. ix. 108-118. 

> Mure, p. 508. 

' See the STinpomiimof Flato, tvhfin. 



Life ahd 

boflkinB that he coidd anywhere find, he followed his guide 
into the treasure-house/' where he " fell to upon a heap of 
gold-dust, and in the first place packed as much as he could 
inside his buskins, between them and his legs, after which he 
filled the breast of his tunic quite full of gold, and then 
gpiinkling some among his hair, and taking some likewise in 
his mouth, came forth from the treasure-house scarcely able 
to drag his legs along, like anything rather than a man, with 
his mouth cranmied full, and his bulk increased every way."^ 
The laughter of Croesus at the sight is echoed by the reader, 
who has presented to him a most ridiculous image hit off with 
wonderful effect, and poeticised by the touch of imagination, 
which regards the distorted form as having lost all semblance 
of humanity. It would be impossible to deny to Herodotus 
the possession of a sense of the comic if he had confined 
himself to this single exhibition of it. 

As a specimen of broad humour the instance here adduced 
is probably the most striking that can be brought forward 
from the pages of our author.^ But many anecdotes will be 
found scattered through them, in which the same quality 
shows itself in a more subdued and chastened form. It will 
be enough to refer, without quotation, to the well-known story 
of Hippoclides,' to the fable of Cyrus,^ the retorts of Bias, 
Oelo, and Themistocles,^ the quaint remark of Megacreon,' 
the cool observation of Dieneces, and the two answers given 
by the Spartans to the envoys of Samos.^ Besides these 
anecdotical displays of a humorous vein, Herodotus often 
shows his sense of the comic in his descriptions of the 
manners and customs of barbarous nations. A striking 

* Herod, yi. 125. 

* Other instanoea of a broad and 
■omewhat coarse bnmoar are to be 
found in the story of Artaphemes' 
reply to Histisens (vi. 1), and of the 
message which Amasis sent to Aprics 
bj Patarbemis (iL 162). 

* Herod, vi. 129. ^ Ibid. 1. 141. 

* Ibid. i. 27 i vii. 162 ; and viii. 125. 

* Ibid. TiL 120. CoL Mure jEinds this 

story "insipid," bnt most readers are 
amnsed by the lightheartedness which 
conld make a joko oat of a calamity. 
The other "good saying" with which 
he finds fanlt (that of Megabazns con- 
cerning the site of Byzantium, iv. 144) 
is not recorded by Herodotns as a 
witty, bat as a judicious remark. 
^ Herod, yii. 226. 




example is his account of the Scythian mode of sacrificing in 
the fourth book, where he concludes his notice with the 
remark that "by this plan your ox is made to boil himself, 
and other victims also to do the like."* The same vein is 
clearly apparent in the enumeration, contained in the same 
book, of the animals said to inhabit the African " wild-beast 
tract," — "this is the tract in which the huge serpents are 
found, and the lions, the elephants, the bears, the aspicks, and 
the homed asses. Here, too, are the dog-faced creatures, 
and the creatures without heads, whom the Libyans declare 
to have their eyes in their breasts, and also the wild men and 
the wild women, and many other far less fabulous beasts." ^ 
Touches of humour also serve to relieve his accounts of 
cannibalism, and prevent them from being merely horrible, as 
such subjects are apt to become in most writers. Of this 
nature is his remark when speaking of the Padseans, who put 
persons to death as soon as they were attacked by any 
malady, to prevent their flesh from spoiling, that " the man 
protests he 18 not m in the least, but his friends will not accept 
his denial ; in spite of all he can say they kill him and feast 
themselves on his body,"* A very keen sense of the ludicrous 
is implied by this perception of something laughable in scenes 
of the greatest horror. 

Perhaps the most attractive feature in the whole work of 
Herodotus — ^that which prevents us from ever feeling weari- 
ness as we follow him through the nine books of his history — 
is the wonderful variety in which he deals. Not only 
historian, but geographer, traveller, naturalist, mythologer, 
moralist, antiquarian, he leads us from one subject to 
another, — 

" From graye to gay, from lively to severe, — *' 

never pursuing his main narrative for any long time without 
the introduction of some agreeable episodical matter, rarely 

> Herod, it. 61. » Ibid. iv. 191. 
* Ibid. iii. 99. Compare the descrip. 
tton of oannibaliBm among the Mas. 

sagctee in the last chapter of book i. 
where the hnmonr is far more snbdaed, 
but still is very perceptible. 


carrying an episodical digression to snch an extent as to be 
any severe trial to our patience. Even as historian, the 
respect in which he especially excels other writers is the 
diversity of his knowledge- Contriving to bring almost the 
whole known world within the scope of his story, and 
throwing everywhere a retrospective glance at the earliest 
beginnings of states and empires, he exhibits before our eyes 
a sort of panoramic view of history, in which past and 
present, near and remote, civilised kingdoms and barbarous 
communities, kings, priests, sages, lawgivers, generals, 
courtiers, common men, have all their place — a place at once 
skilfully assigned and properly apportioned to their respective 
claims on our attention. Blended, moreover, with this 
profusion of historic matter are sketches of religions, graphic 
descriptions of countries, elaborate portraitures of the 
extremes of savage and civilised life, striking moral reflec- 
tions, curious antiquarian and philosophical disquisitions, 
legends, anecdotes, criticisms — not all perhaps equally happy, 
but all serving the purpose of keeping alive the reader's 
interest, and contributing to the general richness of effect by 
which the work is characterised. Again, most remarkable is 
the variety of styles which are assumed, with almost equal 
success, in the descriptions and anecdotes. The masterly 
treatment of pathetic subjects, and the occasional indulgence, 
with good effect, in a comic vein, have been already noticed. 
Equal power is shown in dealing with such matters as are 
tragic without being pathetic, as in the legend of Gyges,^ the 
story of the death of Cyrus,® the description of the self- 
destruction of Cleomenes,' and, above all, in the striking 
scene which portrays the last moments of Prexaspes.® In 
this, and in his account of the death of Adrastus,® Herodotus 
has, if anywhere, reached the sublime. Where his theme is 
lower, he has a style peculiarly his own, which seems to come 
to him without effort, yet which is most diflBcult of attain- 

* Herod, i. 8.12. • Uiid. i 212-4. I • Ibid. iii. 76. » Ibid. i. 46. 





ment. It is simple withont being homely, familiar without 
being vulgar, Kvely without being forced or affected. Of this, 
remarkable and diversified specimens will be found in the 
history of the birth and early years of Cyrus,* and in the tale 
—which reads like a story in the Arabian Nights — of the 
thieves who plundered the treasury of Ehampsinitus.* 
Occasionally he exhibits another power which is exceedingly 
rare — that, namely, of representing the grotesque. The story 
of Arion has a touch of this quaJity,® which is more fully 
displayed in the account of the funeral rites oMhe Scythian 
kings.^ Still more remarkable, and still more important in 
its bearing on the general eflfect of his work, is the dramatic 
power, so largely exhibited in the abundant dialogues and in 
the occasional set speeches wherewith his narrative is adorned, 
which by their contrast with the ordinary historical form, and 
their intrinsic excellence generally,^ tend more perhaps than 
any other single feature to enliven his pages, and to prevent 
the weariness which is naturally caused by the uniformity of 
continued narration. 

Another excellence of Herodotus is vivid description, or the 
power of setting before us graphically and distinctly that 
which he desires us to see. This faculty however he does not 
exhibit equally in all subjects. Natural scenery, in common 
with the ancients generally, he for the most part neglects; 
and his descriptions of the great works constructed by the 
labour of man,^ although elaborate, fail in conveying to the 
minds of his readers any very distinct impression of their 
appearance. The power in question is shown chiefly in his 
accounts of remarkable events or actions, which portions of 
his narrative have often all the beauty and distinctness of 

» Herod, i. 108-122. « Ibid. ii. 121. 

• Ibid. i. 24. * Ibid. iv. 71-2. 

' The set speeches of the three con- 
spirators in fayonr of democracy, 
aristocracy, and monarchy respectively 
(iii. 80-2), most be excepted from this 
commendation. They are not above 
the average of sophistical themes on 
the subject, and they are wholly rni- 

Boited to the characters and circnm- 
stanoes of the persons in whose months 
they are put. (See the foot-note ad 

• As the barrow of Alyattes (i. 98), 
the temple of Bolns at Babylon (i. 
181), the pyramids (ii. 124, 127, 134), 
the labyrinth (ii. 148), and the bridge 
of Xerxes (vii. 86). 




pictures. Gyges in the bed-chamber of Candaules,^ Arion on 
the quarter-deck chanting the Orthian,® Cleobis and Bito 
arriving at the temple of Juno,® Adrastus delivering himself 
up to Croesus,^® Alcmaeon coming forth from the treasure- 
house," are pictures of the simplest and most striking kind, 
presenting to us at a single glance a scene exactly suited to 
form a subject for a painter. Sometimes however the descrip- 
tion is more complex and continuous. The charge of the 
Athenians at Marathon,^ the various contests and especially 
the final struggle at Thermopylae,^ the conflict in the royal 
palace at Susa between the Magi and the seven conspirators," 
the fight between Onesilus and Artybius,^^ the exploits of 
Artemisia at Salamis,^^ the death of Masistius and the 
contention for his body,^'' are specimens of excellent description 
of the more complicated kind, wherein not a single picture, 
but a succession of pictures, is exhibited before the eyes of the 
reader. These descriptions possess all the energy, life, and 
power of Homeric scenes and battles, and are certainly not 
surpassed in the compositions of any prose writer. 

The most obvious merit of our author, and the last which 
seems to require special notice, is his simplicity. The natural 
flow of narrative and sentiment throughout his work, the 
predominant use of common and familiar words, the avoidance 
of all meretricious ornament and rhetorical artifice, have often 
been remarked, and have won the approbation of almost all 
critics. With Herodotus composition is not an art, but a 
spontaneous outpouring. He does not cultivate graces of 
style, or consciously introduce fine passages. He writes as 
his ^subject leads him, rising with it, but never transcending 
the modesty of nature, or approaching to the confines of 
bombast. Not only are his words simple and common, but 
the structure of his sentences is of the least complicated kind. 

' Herod, i. 9-10. » Ibid. I 2A. 

• Ibid. i. 31. »» Ibid. i. 45, sub init. 
" Ibid. vi. 126. See p. 131. 
» Ibid. vi. 112. 

"Ibid. vii. 210-2; 223-6. 

1* Ibid. ui. 78. " Ibid. ▼. 111-2. 

i« Ibid. viii. 87. »7 Ibid. ix. 22-8. 




He writes, as Aristotle observes/ not in laboured periods, but 
in sentences which have a continuons flow, and which only 
end when the sense is complete. Hence the wonderful clear- 
ness and transparency of his style, which is never involved, 
never harsh or forced, and which rarely allows the shadow of 
a doubt to rest upon his meaning. 

The same spirit, which thus affects his language and mode 
of expression, is apparent in the whole tone and conduct of 
the narrative. Everything is plainly and openly related; 
there is no affectation of mystery; we are not tantalised by 
obscure allusions or hints ;^ the author freely and folly 
admits us to his confidence, is not afraid to mention himself 
and his own impressions; introduces us to his informants; 
tells us plainly what he saw and what he heard ; allows us 
to look into his heart, where there is nothing that he needs 
to hide, and to become sharers alike in his religious senti- 
ments, his political opinions, and his feelings of sympathy 
or antipathy towards the various persons or races that he is 
led to mention* Hence the strong personal impression of the 
writer which we derive from his work, whereby, despite the 
meagre notices that remain to us of his life, we are made 
to feel towards him as towards an intimate acquaintance, 
and to regard ourselves as fully entitled to canvass and 
discuss all his qualities, moral as well as intellectual. The 
candour, honesty, amiability, piety and, patriotism of Hero- 
dotus, his primitive cast of mind and habits, his ardent 
curiosity, his strong love of the marvellous, are familiar 
topics with his commentators, who find his portrait drawn 
by himself with as much completeness (albeit unconsciously) 
in his writings, as those of other literary men have been by 
their professed biographers. All this is done moreover with- 

1 See Arist. Shet. iii. 9. Aristotle 
defines the k4^u tSpofUrriy or " conti- 
mioiiB style," as *'Uiat which has in 
itself no termination, unless the mat- 
ter under narration be terminftted " — 

T^ wpayfia \ty6iifVov tcXcm^). 

' The only exception is in the 
account of Egypt, where religions 
scruples occasionally interfere to diock 
his usual openness. 




out the slightest affectation, or undue intrusion of his own 
thoughts and opinions ; it is the mere result of his not think- 
ing about himself, and is as far removed from the ostenta- 
tious display of Xenophon ^ as from the studied concealment of 

While the language, style, sentiments, and tone of narrative 
in Herodotus are thus characterised, if we compare him with 
later writers, by a natural simplicity and freedom from effort, 
which constitute to a considerable extent the charm of his 
writing, it is important to observe how greatly in all these 
respects he is in advance of former prose authors. Justice is 
not done to his merits unless some attention be given to the 
history of prose composition before his time, and something 
like a comparison instituted between him and his predecessors. 
With Herodotus simplicity never degenerates into baldness, or 
familiarity into what is rude and coarse. His style is full, 
free, and flowing, and offers a most agreeable contrast to the 
stiff conciseness, curt broken sentences, and almost unvaried 
construction, of previous historians. K we glance our eye 
over the fragments of the early Greek writers that have 
come down to our times, we shall be surprised to find how 
rude and primitive, how tame, bald, and spiritless the produc- 
tions appear to have been, even of the most celebrated his- 
torians anterior to, or contemporary with, our author. A few 
specimens are subjoined* of the style of writing customary in 

i. § 4^7, and 

' See Anab. iii. 
thenceforth passim, 

* HeoatsBOB of Miletns commenced 
biB historical work, the ' GlenealogieB/ 
as follows : — 

" Thns saith HecatsBOB the Mile, 
sian : That which I write, I write as 
the truth seems to me. For the stories 
which the Greeks tell are many, and 
to my mind ridiculous." 

The longest of his extant fragments 
is thns translated by Col. Mure (Lit. 
of Greece, vol. iv. p. 161) : — 

" Orestheus, son of Deucalion, ar- 
riyed in ^tolia in search of a kingdom. 

Here his dog produced him a green 
plant. Upoii which he ordered the 
dog to be buried in the earth; and 
from its body sprang a vine fertile in 
graphs. Hence he called his son 
Phytius. The son of Phytius was 
(Eneus, so named after the vine-plant. 
For the ancient Greeks called the 
vine CEna. The son of (Eneus was 

The fragments of Xanthus are very 
brief, and of these only one is cited in 
his exact words. It shows no gpreat 
advance on the style of Hecatssus : — 

" From Lydus descend the Lydians, 




his day, from which the modem reader may form a tolerable 
estimate of the interval which separated Herodotus, as a 

from TorrhebnB the Torrhebiaiis. In 
language these two raoeB differ bat 
little; and to this daj they borrow 
from one anotiier no few words, like 
the lonians and the Dorians." 

Another, which is probably very 
close to his phraseology, is the follow- 
ing : — 

" The Magians marry their mothers 
and their daughters. They hold it 
lawful also to marry their sisters. 
Their wives are common property; and 
when one wishes to take the wife of 
another, they nse no fraad nor violence, 
but the thing is done by consent." 

Of Charon of Lampsacus we possess 
a passage of some length, which may 
be given in the translation of CoL 
Mure (vol. iv.pp. 169-170) :— 

*' The Bisaltians waged war against 
the Cardians, and were victorious in a 
battle. The commander of the Bisal. 
tians waa called Onaris. This man, 
when a youth, had been sold as a slave 
in Cazdia, and had been made by his 
master to work at the trade of a bar. 
ber. Now there was an oracle cur- 
rent among the Cardians, that about 
that time they should be invaded by 
the Bisaltians ; and this oracle was a 
frequent subject of conversation among 
those who frequented the barber's 
shop. Onaris, having effected his es> 
cape home, persuaded his countrymen 
to invade Cardia, and was himself 
appointed leader of the expedition. 
But the Cardians were accustomed to 
teach their horses to danoe^ to the 
sound of the flute in their f^ivals ; 
when standing upright on their hind- 
legs, they adapted the motions of their 
fore-feet to the time of the music. 
Onaris, being acquainted with this 
custom, procm?ed a female flute-player 
from Cardia; and this flute-player, 
<m her arrival in Bisaltis (P), intructed 
many of the flute-players of that city 
(?), whom he caused to accompany 
him in his march against the Cardians. 
Ab soon as the engagement com- 

menced, he ordered the flute.players 
to strike up those tunes to which the 
Cardian horses were used to perform. 
And no sooner had the horses heard 
the music than they stood up on their 
hind-legs and began to dance. But 
the chief force of the Cardians was in 
cavalry ; and so they lost the battle." 

Even Hellanicus, who outlived 
Herodotus, falls sometimes into the 
cramped and bald style of the old 
logographers, as the subjoined speci. 
mens will show : — 

(1.) " From Pelasgus, the king of 
these men, and Menipp^, the daughter 
of PeneuB, was bom Fhrastor; from 
him sprang Amyntor; from him, 
Teutamidas; from him, Nanas. In 
his reign the Pelasgians were driven 
out by the Greeks, and having left 
their ships at the river Spines in the 
Ionian Gulf, they built at some 
distance from the shore the city of 
Croton. From hence they proceeded 
to colonise the land now called Tyr- 

(2.) " When the men came from 
Sparta, the Athenians related to them 
the story of Orestes. At the con- 
clusion, when both parties approved 
the judgment, the Athenians assigned 
it to the ninth generation after Mars 
and Neptune pleaded in the cauBO of 
Halirrhothius. Then, six generations 
later, Cephalus, the son of De'ioneus, 
who married Ftocris, the daughter of 
Erechtheus, and slew her, was con- 
demned by the court of Areopagus, 
and Buffered banishment. After the 
trial of Daedalus for the treacherous 
slaughter of his sister's son Talus, and 
his flight from justice in the third 
generation, this Clytemnestra, the 
daughter of Tyndarus, who had killed 
Agamemnon and herself been killed 
by Orestes, caused Orestes to be 
brought to trial by the Eumenides; 
he, however, returned after judgment 
was given, and became king of Argos. 
Minerva and Mars were the judges." 


writer, from those who had preceded him — an interval so great 
as to render the style of composition which he invented a 
sort of new art, and to entitle him to the hononrable appella- 
tion, which prescription has made indisputably his, of the 
"Father of History." 







These are the researches of Herodotus of Halicamassns,^ 
which he publishes, in the hope of thereby preserving from 
decay the remembrance of what men have done, and of pre- 
Tenting the great and wonderful actions of the Greeks and the 
Barbarians from losing their due meed of glory ; and withal 
to put on record what were their grounds of feud. 

1. According to the Persians best informed in history, the 
Phoenicians began the quarrel. This people, who had formerly 
dwelt on the shores of the ErythrsBan Sea,' haying migrated 

' This 18 the reading of all our 
MSB. Tet Aristotle, where he quotes 
the passage (Rhet. iii. 9), has Thnrimii 
in the place of Halicamassus ; that is, 
be cites the final residenoe instead of 
the birthplace of the writer. (See the 
sketch of Herodotos's Life in the 
Appendix to the last Yolome.) There 
is no donbt that considerable portions 
of the work as it stands were written 
at Thnrinm, and it is possible that 
Herodotos nscd the expression "of 
Thnriiun " in his latest recension. 

The mention of the author's name 
and country in the first sentence of 
his history seems to have been usual 
in the age in which Herodotus wrote. 
The ' Genealogies ' of HecatcBus com- 
menced with the words, 'EicoraZof 
MiA^tf'iof ^c fiv$€tT€u, (Muller's 
Fngm. Hist. Gr., rol. i. Fr. 332.) 
And the practice is followed by 

' By the Erythraean Sea Herodotus 
intends, not our Red Sea, which he 
calls the Arabian GuLf {kSkwos 
*Apd$ios\ but the Indian Ocean, or 
rather both the Indian Ocean and the 
Persian Gulf, which latter he docs not 
consider distinct from the Oooan, 
being ignorant of its shape. 

With roBpect to the migration of the 
Phoenicians from the Persian Gulf, 
which is reasserted book vii. ch. 89, 
there seems to be no room to donbt 
that a connexion existed between the 
cities of Phconicia Proper and a num. 
ber of places about the Persian Gulf, 
whose very names have been thought 
to indicate their Phoenician origin. 
The chief of these were Tyrus, or 
Tylus, and Aradus, two islands in the 
Gulf, where, according to Eratosthenes 
(ap. Strabon. xvi. p. 1090, Oxf. ed.), 
there were Phoenician temples, and the 
inhabitants of which claimed the Phce- 



Book I. 

to the Mediterranean and settled in the parts which they 
now inhabit, began at once, they say, to adventure on long 
voyages, freighting their vessels with the wares of Egypt and 
Assyria.^ They landed at many places on the coast, and 
among the rest at Argos, which was then pre-eminent above 
all the states included now under the common name of 
Hellas.^ Here they exposed their merchandise, and traded 
with the natives for five or six days ; at the end of which 
time, when almost everything was sold, there came down to 
the beach a number of women, and among them the daughtei: 
of the king, who was, they say, agreeing in this with the 
Greeks, lo, the child of Inachus. The women were standing 

nician oities on the Mediterranean as 
their colonies. One of these is at the 
present day called Arad. There is 
also a Sidodofia and a 8zur, or Tur, 
which recall the names of Sidon and 
Type respectively. The question com- 
jnonly discnssed has been whether the 
cities about the Persian Ckilf are the 
mother cities of those on the Medi- 
terranean, or colonies from them. 
Seetzen and Heeren incline to the 
latter view (Heeren's As. Nat. vol. ii. 
pp. 231, 415, E. T.). In favour of the 
former, however, is, in the first place, 
the double tradition, that of the PhGe- 
nioians of Phoenicia Proper mentioned 
by Herodotus, and that of the inhabi- 
tants of Tyrus and Aradus, recorded 
by Eratosthenes, who probably fol- 
lows Androsthenes, the naval officer of 
Aleicander; and secondly, what may 
be called the argument from general 
probability. Lower Babylonia, the 
oountry about the mouths of the 
Tigris and Euphrates, is the original 
seat of Semitic power, whence it 
spreads northward and westward to 
the Euxine and to the Mediterranean. 
(Cf. Appendix, Essay xi. § 3.) Asshur 
goes forth out of the land of Shinar, 
in the book of Genesis (x. 11) ; Abra- 
ham and his family pass from Ur of 
the Chaldees (Mugheir) by Charran 
into Syria; the Aranueans can be 
traced in the Cuneiform inscriptions 
Moending the conrse of the Euphrates 

from the Persian Gulf towards the 
Mediterranean. Everything indicates 
a spread of the Semites from Baby- 
lonia westward, while nothing appears 
of any great movement in the opposite 
direction. At the same time it is 
quite possible that the Phcenicians, in 
the time of their prosperity, may 
have formed settlements in the Per- 
sian Gulf, and that the temples seen 
by Androsthenes belonged to this 
comparatively recent movement. 

The name "Phoenician," which is 
connected with " Erythraean," both 
meaning "red," the colour of the 
Semites, confirms the general con- 
nexion, but does not show in whioh 
way the migration proceeded. For a 
more complete discussion of the sub- 
ject see Appendix to book vii. Essay ii. 

' For an account of the trade of the 
Phcenicians, see Heeren's Asiatic Na- 
tions, vol. ii., ' Phcenicians,' chap. iii. 

* The ancient superiority of ArgOB 
is indicated by the position of Aga- 
memnon at the time of the Trojan war 
(compare Thucyd. i. 9-10), and by the 
use of the word Argive in Homer for 
Greek generally. No other name of a 
single people is used in the same 
generic way. 

The absence of any general ethnic 
title during the earlier ages is noticed 
by Thucydides (i. 3). He uses the same 
expression as Herodotus — ^ inip *EKKks 
KoKovfUrn — ^previously (i. 2). 

Chap. 1, 2. 



by the stem of the ship intent upon their pnrehases, when 
the Phoenicians, with a general shout, rushed upon them. 
The greater part made their escape, but some were seized and 
carried off. lo herself was among the captives. The Phoeni- 
cians put the women on board their vessel, and set sail for 
Egypt. Thus did lo pass into Egypt, according to the Persian 
story ,*^ which differs widely from the Phoenician: and thus 
commenced, according to their authors, the series of outrages. 
2. At a later period, certain Greeks, with whose name they 
are unacquainted, but who would probably be Cretans,® made 
a landing at Tyre, on the Phoenician coast, and bore off the 
king's daughter, Europe. In this they only retaliated; but 
afterwards the Greeks, they say, were guilty of a second 
violence. They manned a ship of war, and sailed to ^a, a 
city of Colchis,^ on the river Phasis ; from, whence, after 

* It Ib bardly possible that the Per- 
sians, properly so called, conld have 
bad any independent knowledge of the 
myth c^ lo, for at the period of history 
to which the legend refers, the Arian 
tribes, who were the progenitors of 
the Persians, were still encamped on 
the banks of the Indus, and were thus 
entirely shut ont from any contact 
with the Western world. The ac- 
quaintance even of the Assyrians and 
Babylonians with the Greeks was of a 
comparatively modem date. SargoUj 
indeed, who in the Cuneiform inscrip- 
tions first mentions the Greeks, — hav- 
ing in about B.C. 708 received tribute 
in Babylon from the Greek colonists 
of Cyprus, — speaks of them as " the 
seven kings of the Taha tribes of the 
country of Yavnan (or FiinaTi), who 
dwelt in an island in the midst of the 
Western sea, at the distance of seven 
days from the coast, and the name of 
whose country had never been heard 
by my ancestors, the kings of As- 
Syria and Chaldasa, from the remotest 
times," kc, &c, kc. It is at the same 
time iKt from improbable that this 
name of Yaha^ which the Assyrians 
applied to the piratical Greeks of 
Cyprus, may have suggested the 


memory of the buccaneering stories 
which the Phoenicians and the Persians 
(of Syria ?) told to Herodotus in illus- 
tration of the myth of lo. And it 
is further worthy of remark, that the 
name, thus first brought before us in 
its Asiatic form, may perhaps furnish 
an astronomical solution for the entire 
fable ; for as the wanderings of the 
Greek lo have been often compared with 
the erratic course of the moon in the 
heavens, passing in succession through 
all the signs of the zodiac, so do we 
find that in the ante-Semitic period 
there was also an identity of name, the 
Ejry|)tian title of the moon being Yahy 
and the primitive Clialdacnn title being 
represented by a Cuneiform sign, which 
is phonetically Ai^ as in modem Turk- 
ish.— [H. C. K.] 

® Since no other Greeks were thought 
to have possessed a navy in these early 
times. Compare Thucyd. i. 4 — Viivws 
'Ka\alraros coy &ko^ Jtrfify yauniKhy iK- 

7 The commentators have found 
some difficulty in showing why the 
Colchiaus should have been held 
responsible for an outrage committed by 
the Phoenicians, and have been obliged 
to suggest that it was merely owing to 



Book I. 

despatching the rest of the business on which they had come, 
they carried off Medea, the daughter of the king of the land. 
The monarch sent a herald into Greece to demand reparation 
of the wrong, and the restitution of his child ; but the Greeks 
made answer, that having received no reparation of the wrong 
done them in the seizure of lo the Argive, they should give 
none in this instance. 

8. In the next generation afterwards, according to the 
same authorities, Alexander the son of Priam, bearing these 
events in mind, resolved to procure himself a wife out of 
Greece by violence, fully persuaded, that as the Greeks had 
not given satisfaction for their outrages, so neither would he 
be forced to make any for his. Accordingly he made prize of 
Helen ; upon which the Greeks decided that, before resorting 
to other measures, they would send envoys to reclaim the 
princess and require reparation of the wrong. Their demands 
were met by a reference to the violence which had been 
offered to Medea, and they were apked with what face they 
could now require satisfaction, when they had formerly 
rejected all demands for either reparation or restitution 
addressed to them.^ 

their equally belonging to the comity 
of Asiatic nations ; bat the traditions 
of mntnal responsibility are more 
readily explained by our remember- 
ing that there was perhaps an ethnic 
relationship between the two nations, 
Colchis in the time of the Argonauts 
being peopled by the same Cushite or 
(so called) Ethiopian race, which in 
the remote age of Inachns, and before 
the arrival of the Semites in Syria, 
held the seaboard of Phoenicia. The 
primitive Medes would seem to have 
been one of the principal divisions of 
the great Cushite or Scy thic race, their 
oonnezion with Colchis and Phconicia 
being marked by the myth of Medea 
in one quarter, and of Androm«Za in 
the other. So too all the ancient 
Scythic monuments of Northern Media 
and Armenia are referred by Strabo to 

the Argonauts, Jason, as the husband 
of Medea, being the eponymous hero 
of the race. Indeed, the famous moun- 
tain of Demawend in the Elburz above 
Tehcyran, where Zohak the great an- 
tagonist of the Arian race was sup- 
posed to be imprisoned, was known to 
the Greeks by the name of mount 
Jasonius as late as the time of 
Ptolemy.— [H. C. R.] 

^ Aristophanes in the Achamiana 
(488-494) very wittily parodies the 
opening of Herodotus's history. Pro- 
fessing to give the causes of the 
Peloponnesian war, he says : — 

Kal ravra fxiv iij fffxiKpa <cuiriXMp<a* 
irupvnv it' Zt/ma/^av lovTet M«7df>ad€ 
vtafiai K\4frTov(ri u€0v<roK6TTa^oi, 
Kf^O' 01 Meyapnf odvvan irepvci'^jtifxivoi 
i^TcfficXevav 'A<nra<riar iropi-a ivo' 
KuvrevOev upxh roZ noKifiov Kartppdyri 
"LkXnat irSiffiv ^k rptSav XatKavruimv. 


Chap. 2-5. 



4. Hitherto the injuries on either Bide had been mere acts 
of common violence ; but in what followed the Persians con- 
sider that the Greeks were greatly to blame, since before any 
attack had been made on Europe, they led an army into Asia. 
Now as for the carrying off of women, it is the deed, they say, 
of a rogue ; but to make a stir about such as are carried off, 
argues a man a fool. Men of sense care nothing for such 
women, since it is plain that without their own consent they 
would never be forced away. The Asiatics, when the Greeks 
ran off with their women, never troubled themselves about the 
matter; but the Greeks, for the sake of a single LacedsB- 
monian girl, collected a vast armament, invaded Asia, and 
destroyed the kingdom of Priam. Henceforth they ever 
looked upon the Greeks as their open enemies. For Asia, 
with all the various tribes of barbarians that inhabit it, is 
regarded by the Persians as their own ; but Europe and the 
Greek race they look on as distinct and separate.^ 

6. Such is' the account which the Persians give of these 
matters.^ They trace to the attack upon Troy their ancient 

" This was nothing, 

Smaddng too much of our aociutomed manner 
To gtve offence. But here, sirs, was the nib : 
Some spaxkfl of oars, hot with the grape, had 

A mistress of the game— Simetha named — 
From the Megarians : her donghty townsmen 
(For the deed moved no small extent of anger) 
Bereng'd the affront upon Aspasia's train. 
And bore away a brace of her lair damsels. 
All Greece anon gave note of martial prelude. 
Aiid what the cause of war? marry, three 

women,"— Mjtchell, p. 70-2. 

This is the earliest indication of a 
knowledge of the work of Herodotus 
on the part of any other Greek writer. 

• The claim made by the Persians 
to the natural lordship of Asia was 
convenient as furnishing them with 
pretexts for such wars as it suited 
their policy to engage in with non- 
Asiatio nations. The most remarkable 
occasion on which they availed them- 
selves of snoh a plea was when Darins 
invaded Scythia. According to Hero- 
dotus, he asserted, and the Scythians 
believed, that his invasion was de- 

signed to pnnish them for having 
attacked the Medes, and held posses- 
sion of Upper Asia for a nnmber of 
years, at a time when Persia was a 
tributary nation to Media. (See Herod, 
iv. 1 and 118-9.) 

* It is curious to observe the treat- 
ment which the Greek myths met 
with at the hands of foreigners. 
The Oriental mind, quite unable to 
appreciate poetry of such a character, 
stripped the legends bare of all that 
beautified them, and then treated them, 
thus vulgarised, as matters of simple 
history. lo, the virgin priestess, be- 
loved by Jove, and hated by jealous 
Juno, metamorphosed, Argus-watched, 
and gad6y-driven from land to land, 
resting at last by holy Nile's sweet- 
tasting stream, and there becoming 
mother of a race of hero-kings, is 
changed to lo, the paramour of a 
PhcEnician sea-captain, flying with 
him to conceal her pregnancy, and so 
carried to Egypt whither his ship was 



Book L 

enmity towards the Greeks. The Phoenicians, however, as 
regards lo, vary from the Persian statements. They deny 
that they used any violence to remove her into Egypt ; she 
herself, they say, having formed an intimacy with the captain, 
while his vessel lay at Argos, and perceiving herself to be 
with child, of her own freewill accompanied the Phoenicians 
on their leaving the shore, to escape the shame of detection 
and the reproaches of her parents. Whether this latter 
account be true, or whether the matter happened otherwise, 
I shall' not discuss further. I shall proceed at once to point 
out the person who first within my own knowledge inflicted 
injury on the Greeks, after which I shall go forward with my 
history, describing equally the greater and the lesser cities. 
For the cities which were formerly great, have most of them 
become insignificant; and such as are at present powerful, 
were weak in the olden time.^ I shall therefore discourse 
equally^ of both, convinced that human happiness never con- 
tinues long in one stay. 

6. Croesus, son of Alyattes, by birth a Lydian, was lord of 
all the nations to the west of the river Halys.® This stream, 

bound. The PhcBnicians and tho Per- 
sians are equally prosaio in their ver. 
Bions of the story, so that it seems tho 
Semitic race was as nnablo to enter 
into the spirit of Greek poesy as tho 
Arian. Both indeed appear to have 
been essentially nnpoetical, the Semitic 
race only warming into poetry under 
the excitement of devotional feeling, 
the Arian never capable of anything 
beyond sparkling prettiness, and ezn. 
berant, sometimes perhaps elegant 

Herodotus, left to himself, has no 
tendency to treat myths in this coarse 
rationalistic way : Mritness his legends 
of CrcBSus, Battus, Labda, etc. His 
spirit is too reverent, and, if we may 
so say, credulous. The supematursJ 
never shocks or startles him. It is a 
mistake of Pausanias (ii. xvi. § 1) to 
call this story of lo's passage into 
Egypt **the way in which Herodotus 
says she went there.'' Herodotus is 

only reporting what was alleged by 
the Persians. 

The legend of To forms a beautiful 
episode in the Prometheus Vinctus of 
-ffischylus (572-905). That of Medea 
is introduced into one of the most 
magnificent of the Odes of Pindar. 
(Pvth. iv. 119-458.) 

^ Thucydides remarks on the small 
size to which Mycenae had dwindled 
compared with its former power (i.lO) . 
Herodotus would have remarkable ex- 
amples of decline in his own neigh- 
bourhood, both when he dwelt in Asia 
Minor, and after he removed to Italy. 
Phocssa in the former country, and 
Sybaris in the latter, near the ruins ot 
which Thurium rose, would be notable 

^ If the name of the Halys be 
derived from a Semitic source, we 
may compare the roots Wi in Hebrew, 

or^l^ in Arabic, signifying '* to be 

Chap. 6-7. 



which separates Syria* from Paphlagonia, runs with a course 
from south to north,^ and finally falls into the Euxine. So 
far as our knowledge goes, he was the first of the barbarians 
who had dealings with the Greeks, forcing some of them to 
become his tributaries, and entering into alliance with others. 
He conquered the iBolians, lonians, and Dorians of Asia, and 
made a treaty with the LacedaBmonians. Up to that time all 
Greeks had been free. For the Cimmerian attack upon Ionia, 
which was earlier than Croesus, was not a conquest of the 
cities, but only an inroad for plundering. 

7. The sovereignty of Lydia, which had belonged to the 
Heraclides, passed into the family of Croesus, who were called 
the Mermnadae, in the manner which I will now relate. There 
was a certain king of Sardis, Candaules by name, whom the 
Greeks called Myrsilus.' He was a descendant of Alcaeus, son 

twisted," and suppose the epithet to 
refer to the tortuous course of the 
river. There are names indeed in the 
earlj Cuneiform inscriptions, Khula 
and Khuliya, which must either refer 
to this river or to the upper course of 
the Euphrates. They are probably 
also connected with XoAo/Sytt^ki} (Khul 
of Bttafif the latter term being the 
ancient Assyrian name of Armenia) 
and with the Hul of Scripture, Gen. x. 
28 ; see Bochart's Fhaleg. lib. ii. c. 9. 
— rH.O.B.] 

* By Syria Herodotus here means 
Cappadocia, the inhabitants of which 
he cadis Syrians (i. 72, and yii. 72), or 
Cappadocian Syrians (2vp(ovr KoinraS^. 
ntf, i. 72). Strabo called them "white 
Syrians'^ xii. p. 788, Oxf. ed.). For 
arguments in favour of their Semitic 
origin, see Pritchard's Researches, 
▼oL iv. pp. 560, 561. 

Herodotus regards the words Syria 
and Assyria, Syrians and Assyrians, 
as in reality the same (vii. 63) ; in his 
vae of them, however, as ethnic appel- 
laAiTes, he always carefully distin. 
gniahes. Syria is the tract bounded 
on the north by the Euxine ; on the 
west by the Halys, Cilicia, and the 
Mediterranean ; on the east by Arme. 
nia and the desert ; and on the south 

by Egypt. Assyria is the upper por- 
tion of the Mesopotamian vidley, 
bounded on the north by Armenia, on 
the west by the desert, on the south 
by Babylonia, and on the east by the 
Modes and Matieni. [The only true 
word is Assyria, from Asshiir. Syria 
is a Greek corruption of the genuine 
term.— H. C. R.] 

* It has been thought (Larcher, vol. 
i. p. 173) that Herodotus placed tho 
souifce of the Halys in the range of 
Taurus, near Iconium, the modem 
Konia, and regarded the river as having 
from its source to its embouchure a 
uniform direction from south to north ; 
but from the more elaborate descrip- 
tion in eh. 72 of this book it appears 
that this was not bis belief. He there 
places tho source of the stream in the 
mountains of Armenia, and says, that 
after running through Cilicia it passes 
the Matieni and the Phrygians, and 
then flows with a north course between 
the countries of Paphlagonia and Cap- 
padocia. Thus his statements are 
reconcilable with those of Arrian 
(Peripl. Pont. Eux. p. 127), and with 
the real course of the Kizil.Irmak, 

* That issonofMyrsus, a patronymic 
of a Latin, or perhaps it should rather 
be said of an Etruscan, type. [So 



Book I. 

of Hercules. The first king of this dynasty was Agron, son of 
Ninus, grandson of Belus, and great-grandson of Alcseus; 
Candaules, son of Myrsus, was the last.'' The kings who 
reigned before Agron sprang from Lydus, son of Atys, from 
whom the people of the land, called previously Meonians,® 
received the name of Lydians. The HeracUdes, descended 
from Hercules and the slave-girl of Jardanus,® having been 
entrusted by these princes with the management of affairs, 
obtained the kindgdom by an oracle.^ Their rule endured 

l/urthiajnusaf " the wife of the son of 
Larthios." Thig einglo example, of 
which hardly any notice has been 
taken, is probably the strongest argn- 
ment we possess in faronr of the 
Lydian origin of the Etrascans. — ^H. 
C. R.] 

7 The best and latest authorities 
seem to be now agreed on the Semitic 
descent of the Lydians (see Movers's 
'die PhSnizier,* i. 475; and Ottf. 
Muller, * Sandon nnd Sardanapal, p. 
38, etc.), and the near synchronism of 
the commencement and doration of 
the Assyrian and Lydian Empires, 
together with the introduction by 
Herodotus of ther Assyrian names of 
Belus and Ninus in the genealogy of 
Candaules are certainly in favour of 
his belief in the connection; but on 
the other hand, there is no trace in 
the Assyrian inscriptions of Semitic 
names beyond the range of Taurus, 
nor is it easy to believe, if the inter, 
vening countries of Cilicia and Cappa- 
docia were peopled by Scyths, that 
Assyrian colonists could have pene- 
trated beyond them so far to the west- 
ward. AgEun,the remarkable Latinism 
preserved in the form of Myrsilus for 
"the son of Myrsus " is a strong argu- 
ment against the Semitic origin of the 
Lydians, and to whatever race the 
Heracleids belonged, among whom are 
found the Assyrian names, in a later 
age, at any rate, the language of the 
Lydians was most certainly Indo- 
Germanic ; for the famous Xanthus 
has left it on record that Sardis in the 
vernacular dialect of his day signified 
"a year'* (being given as an honorary 

epithet to the city "irpbi rt^^y'HXioi/**) ; 
and this is pure Arian, Sarat or Sard 
being the word used for ** a year " in 
Sanscrit and Armenian, and being 
retained in old Persian under the 
form of Thrada, and in modem Per- 
sian as Sdl. Consult Xanthus apud 
Lyd. de mensibus, iii. 14, p. 112 ; Ed. 
Roethor.— [H. C. R.] 

^ Homer knows only of Meonians, 
not of Lydians (II. ii. 864-6). Xanthus 
spoke of the Lydians as obtaining the 
name at a comparatively late period 
in their history (Fragm. i. ed. Didot). 
Niebuhr (Roman Hist. vol. i. p. 108, 
E. T.) regards the Lydians afi a distinct 
people from the Meonians, and as their 
conquerors. See Appendix, Essay i. 

* Jardanus was the husband, or, 
according to some accounts, the father, 
of Omphal^. Hercules, while in her 
service, was said to have formed an 
intimacy with one of her female slaves, 
by name Malis, who bore him a son, 
Acelus (Hellanicus, Fragm. 102, ed. 
Didot). Herodotus seems to suppose 
her to have been also the mother of 

' This would be important, if wo 
could depend on it as historical. The 
Asiatics seem to have had no oracles 
of their own. They had modes of 
divination (infrik, oh. 78 ; Dino. Fr. 8 ; 
Polycharm. Frs. 1, 2), but no places 
where prophetic utterances were sup- 
posed to be given by divine inspiration. 
Under these circumstances they recog- 
nized the supernatural character of 
the Greek oracles, and consulted them 
(vide infrk, chaps. 14, 19, 46, &c.). It 

Ceap.7-^. legend of QTGES. I51 

for two and twenty generations of men, a space of five hundred 
and five years ; * during the whole of which period, from Agron 
to Candaules, the crown descended in the direct line from father 
to son. 

8. Now it happened that this Gandaules was in love with 
his own wife; and not only so, but thought her the fairest 
woman in the whole world. This &ncy had strange con- 
sequences. There was in his body-guard a man whom he 
specially &voured, Gyges, the son of Dascylus. All affairs of 
greatest moment were entrusted by Gandaules to this person, 
and to him he was wont to extol the surpassing beauty of his 
wife. So matters went on for a while. At length, one day, 
Gandaules, who was fated to end ill, thus addressed his 
follower: "I see thou dost not credit what I tell thee of my 
lady's loveliness; but come now, since men's ears are less 
credulous than their eyes, contrive some means whereby thou 
mayst behold her naked." At this the other loudly exclaimed, 
saying, "What most unwise speech is this, master, which 
thou hast uttered ? Wouldst thou have me behold my mistress 
when she is naked? Bethink thee that a woman, with her 
clothes, puts off her bashfulness. Our fathers, in time past, 
distinguished right and wrong plainly enough, and it is our 
wisdom to submit to be taught by them. There is an old 
Baying, ' Let each look on his own.' I hold thy wife for the 
fairest of aU womankind. Only, I beseech thee, ask me not 
to do wickedly." 

9- Gyges thus endeavoured to decline the king's proposal, 
trembling lest some dreadful evil should befall him through it. 
But the king replied to him, " Courage, friend ; suspect me 
not of the design to prove thee by ^this discourse ; nor dread 
thy mistress, lest mischief befall thee at her hands. Be sure I 
will so manage that she shall not even know that thou hast 

would be interetting to know that the 
interoonne bad begnn in the 13th 
oentoiy b.c. 

* Herodotns profeeses to oonnt three 
gnerations to the oentury (ii. 142), 
thus making the generation 83^ years. 

In this case the average of the genera. 
tioDS is but 23 years. There is no 
need, however, to alter the text as 
Larcher does, for Herodotus does not 
here calcidate, bat intends to state 



Book L 

looked upon her. I will place thee behind the open door of 
the chamber in which we sleep. When I enter to go to rest 
she will follow me. There stands a chair close to the entrance, 
on which she will lay her clothes one by one as she takes them 
oflf. Thou wilt be able thus at thy leisure to peruse her person. 
Then, when she is moving from the chair toward the bed, and 
her back is turned on thee, be it thy care that she see thee not 
as thou passest through the doorway." 

10. Gyges, unable to escape, could but declare his readiness. 
Then Candaules, when bedtime came, led Gyges into his sleep- 
ing-chamber, and a moment after the queen followed. She 
entered, and laid her garments on the chair, and Gyges gazed 
on her. After a while she moved toward the bed, and her back 
being then turned, he glided stealthily from the apartment. 
As he was passing out, however, she saw him, and instantly 
divining what had happened, she neither screamed as her 
shame impelled her, nor even appeared to have noticed aught, 
purposing to take vengeance upon the husband who had so 
aflEronted her. For among the Lydians, and indeed among 
the barbarians generally, it is reckoned a deep disgrace, even 
to a man, to be seen naked.^ 

11. No sound or sign of intelligence escaped her at the time. 
But in the morning, as soon as day broke, she hastened to 
choose from among her retinue, such as she knew to be most 
faithful to her, and preparing them for what was to ensue, 
sunmioned Gyges into her presence. Now it had often 
happened before that the queen had desired to confer with 
him, and he was accustomed to come to her at her call. He 
therefore obeyed the summons, not suspecting that she knew 
aught of what had occurred. Then she addressed these words 
to him : " Take thy choice, Gyges, of two courses which are 
open to thee. Slay Candaules, and thereby become my lord, 

• The contrast between the feelings 
of the Greeks and the barbarians on 
this point is noted by Thncydides (i. 6), 
where we learn that the exhibition of 
the naked person was recent, even with 

the Greeks (rh irtiUoi icol h r^ *OXv/i. 

au9o7a ol oBXrrrc^ 1iyo9yl(oyro, Kal oif 
iroAA.^ ^Tij ^irci5^ ir^irowToi). 

€hap. d-12. 



and obtain the Lydian throne, or die this moment in his room. 
So wilt thou not again, obeying all behests of thy master, 
behold what is not lawful for thee. It must needs be, that 
either he perish by whose counsel this thing was done, or 
thou, who sawest me naked, and so didst break our usages." 
At these words Gyges stood awhile in mute astonishment; 
recovering after a time, he earnestly besought the queen that 
she would not compel him to so hard a choice. But finding 
he implored in vain, and that necessity was indeed laid on 
him to kill or to be killed, he made choice of life for himself, 
and replied by this inquiry : " If it must be so, and thou com- 
pellest me against my will to put my lord to death, come, let 
me hear how thou wilt have me set on him." "Let him be 
attacked," she answered, *' on that spot where I was by him 
shown naked to you, and let the assault be made when he is 

12. All was then prepared for the attack, and when night 
fell, Gyges, seeing that he had no retreat or escape, but must 
absolutely either slay Candaules, or himself be slain, followed 
his mistress into the sleeping-room. She placed a dagger in ' 
his hand, and hid him carefully behind the self-same door. 
Then Gyges, when the king was fallen asleep, entered privily 
into the chamber and struck him dead. Thus did the wife and 
kingdom of Candaules pass into the possession of Gyges, of 
whom Archilochus the Parian, who lived about the same time,* 
made mention in a poem written in Iambic trimeter verse. 

^The age of Archilochns is a dis- 
pnted point. Mr. Clinton places him 
3.C. 708-665 (F. H. vol. i. 01. 18. 23, 2. 
Ac). Mr. Ghrote iB of opinion that this 
is *< a half oentory too high." (His- 
tory of Greece, voL iii. p. 333, note '.) 
Tbeie are strong gronnds for believing 
tbat Archilochns was later than Cal- 
Uniu (Clinton, toL i. 01. 17), who is 
pioyed bj Mr. Grote to have written 
after the g^reat Cimmerian inyasion in 
tlie reign of Ardys. Bnt there is nothing 
to show at what time in the reign of 
Ardys this invasion happened. Archi- 
lodna may have been contemporary 

both with Gyges and Ardys. The 
Cimmerian invasion may have been 
early in the reign of the latter prince, 
say B.C. 675. Archilochns may have 
flourished B.C. 708-665, and yet have 
witnessed the great invasion, and (as 
Strabo and Clement argne) have out- 
lived Callinus. It seems better to 
raise our date for the Cimmerian in. 
vasion, which (in Mr. Grote's words) 
"appears fixed for some date in the 
reign of Ardys," but which is not fixed 
to any particular part of his long reig^ 
of 49 years, than to disregard all the 
authorities (Herodotus, Cicero, Cle- 




13. Gyges was afterwards confirmed in the possession of 
the throne by an answer of the Delphic oracle. Enraged at 
the murder of their king, the people flew to arms, but after a 
while the partisans of Gyges came to terms with them, and it 
was agreed that if the Delphic oracle declared him king of the 
Lydians, he should reign; if otherwise, he should yield the 
throne to. the Heraclides. As the oracle was given in his 
favour he became king. The Pythoness, however, added that, 
in the fifth generation from Gyges, vengeance should come for 
the HeracUdes ; a prophecy of which neither the Lydians nor 
their princes took any account till it was fulfilled. Such was 
the way in which the MermnadaB deposed the Heraclides, and 
themselves obtained the sovereignty. 

14. When Gyges was established on the throne, he sent no 
small presents to Delphi, as his many silver offerings at the 
Delphic shrine testify. Besides this silver he gave a vast 
number of vessels of gold, among which the most worthy of 
mention are the goblets, six in number, and weighing 
altogether thirty talents, which stand in the Corinthian 
treasury, dedicated by him. I call it the Corinthian treasury, 
though in strictness of speech it is the treasury not of the 
whole Corinthian people, but of Cypselus, son of Eetion.* 
Excepting Midas, son of Gordias,® king of Phrygia, Gyges was 

mens, Tatian, Cyril, ^lian, Proclns, 
Ac.) who place him in the reign of 
Gjges, or a little afterwards. 

A line of Archilochaa, in which men- 
tion was made of Gyges, has been pre. 
served — Otf noi tA r^€« rov iroAu- 
Xp^ov n4\€i (At. Rhet. iii. 17, Pint. Mor. 
ii. p. 470, C). If it had been spoken 
in his own person, it wonld have 
settled the question of his date, but we 
learn from Aristotle that it was put in 
the month of one of his characters. 

* The offerings of Cypselns to Del- 
phi and other shrines are spoken of 
by several writers. (Pansan. V. ii. 
§ 4; Plat. Sept. Sap. Agaolyt. ap. 
Phot, in Ktnf'cAiStf y iydBjifia.) See note 
on book u. ch. 167, ad fin. That the 
Corinthians in later times Bought to 

substitute in the titles of the offerings 
the name of their state for that of 
their quondam king is apparent from 
the story which Pausanias tells. 

* In the Boyal House of Phryg^ 
the names Midas and Crordias seem to 
have alternated perpetually, as in that 
of Cyrdn^ the names Battns and Aroe- 
silaiis. Every Phrygian king men- 
tioned in ancient history is either 
Midas, son of Gordias, or Gk>rdias, son 
of Midas. Bouhier (Dissertations, ch. 
viii.) reckons four kings of Phrygia 
named Midas, each the son of a Gor- 
dias. Three of these are mentioned 
in Herodotus. (See, besides the pre- 
sent passage, i. 85, and viii. 138.) 

The tomb, of which a representation 
is giyen by Texier, is the bnrial-plaoe 

Chap. 18-15. 



the first of the barbarians whom we know to have sent offer- 
ings to Delphi. Midas dedicated the royal throne whereon he 
was accustomed to sit and administer justice, an object well 
worth looking at. It lies in the same place as the goblets 
presented by Gyges. The Delphians call the whole of the 
silver and the gold which Gyges dedicated, after the name of 
the donor, Gygian.' 

As soon as Gyges was king he made an inroad on Miletus 
and Smyrna,® and took the city of Colophon. Afterwards, 
however, though he reigned eight and thirty years, he did not 
perform a single noble exploit. I shall therefore make no 
farther mention of him, but pass on to his son and successor 
in the kingdom, ArdysJ 

16. Ardys took Priene® and made war upon Miletus. In his 
reign the Cimmerians, driven from their homes by the nomades 
of Scythia, entered Asia and captured Sardis, all but the 
citadel.^ He reigned forty-nine years, and was succeeded by 

apparently of one of these kings. It is 
at Doganlu near Kutaya (Cotjaeam), in 
the ancient Fhrjgia ; and has two in- 
acriptions, which may be read thns : — 

1. Arcv Ap«a«Fat emtvawoyafot Mt6<u yafayrati 

FaviMTci €&aev. 
%. BaySa Mtfufcut Upotrafot Kft favaftfot 

Jtitefiap «6aef 

Bee Tenor's Ado Hinenre, vol. i. p. 
156 ; and compare the Essay * On the 
Ethnic AfBnities of the Nations of 
Western Asia,* Essay xi. § 12, where 
these and some other Phrygian inscrip- 
tions are considered. [It is quite 
possible that Mita, king of Muskif 
("iro) who reigned over a people in- 
habiting a platean of Asia Minor, con- 
temparaneonsly with Sargon, may have 
been a Midas, king of Fhrygia.— 
H. C. B.] 

7 Theopompos (Fr. 219) andPhanias 
of Sresns (Fr. 12) said that these were 
the first gold and silver offerings which 
had been made to the shrine at Delphi. 

• To this war belongs, apparently, the 
oaxratiTe which Plutarch quotes from 
DonthetLs (Doeith. Fr. 6), who wrote 

a Lydian History. The SmymaDans 
seem to have been hard pressed, "but 
by a stratagem, which they commemo- 
rated ever afterwards by the festival 
of the Eleutheria, destroyed the army 
which had been sent against them. 
According to one account, Gyges and 
his Lydians had actually seized the 
city, when the Smymamns rose up and 
ex])ellcd them. (Pausan. iv. xxi. § 3.) 
Mimnermus, the elegiac poet, cele- 
brated the event in one of his pieces. 
(Ibid. IX. xxix. § 2.) 

' Mr. Grote says, " This possession 
cannot have been maintained, for the 
city appears afterwards as autono- 
mous '* (History of Greece, vol. iii. 
p. 301) ; but I have been unable to 
find any authority for the latter state- 
ment. No Ionian city, once conquered 
by any Lydian king, recovers its inde- 
pendence. The encroachments were 
progressive, and were maintained in 
all cases. 

* For an account of this and the other 
inroads of the Cimmerians, see Appen- 
dix, Essay i. 



Book L 

his son, Sadyattes, who reigned twelve years. At his death 
his son Alyattes mounted the throne. 

16. This prince waged war with the Medes under Cyaxares, 
the grandson of Deioees,^ drove the Cimmeria-ndput of Asia, 
conquered Smyrna, the Colophonian colony,® and invaded 
GlazomensD. From this last contest he did not come off as he 
could have wished, but met with a sore defeat ; stiU, however, 
in the course of his reign, he performed other actions very 
worthy of note, of which I will now proceed to give an account. 

17. Inheriting from his father a war with the Milesians, he 
pressed the siege against the city by attacking it in the follow- 
ing manner. When the harvest was ripe on the ground he 
marched his army into Milesia to the sound of pipes and 
harps, and flutes masculine and feminine.* The buildings 
that were scattered over the country he neither pulled down 
nor burnt, nor did he even tear away the doors, but left them 
standing as they were. He cut down, however, and utterly 
destroyed all the trees and all the com throughout the land, 
and then returned to his own dominions. It was idle for his 
army to sit down before the place, as the Milesians were 
masters of the sea. The reason that he did not demolish 
their buildings was, that the inhabitants might be tempted to 
use them as homesteads from which to go forth to sow and till 
their lands ; and so each time that he invaded the country he 
might find something to plunder. 

* Vide infiA, cliape. 73-4. 

» Vide inM, ch. 150. 

^ Anlus GeUias understood the ''male 
and female flutes/' as flntes plajed by 
men, and flutes played by women 
(Noct. Attio. i. 11). But it is more 
probable that flutes of different tones 
or pitches are intended. (See the 
essay of BOttiger, ' Ueber die Lydische 
Doppelflote,' in Wieland's Attisch. 
Mns. vol. i. part ii. p. 334.) The flnte, 
the pitch of which was lower, would 
be called male; the more treble or 
shrill-soanding one wonld be the 
female. It is possible that the two 
flntes represented respectively the 

Lydian and Phrygian musical scales, 
as Larcher conjectures (note on the 
passage, vol. i. p. 192). If this were 
the case, however, the male flute 
would be the Phrygian, the female 
flute the Lydian : for the Lydian musi- 
cal scale was more highly pitched than 
the Phrygian. Larcher states exactly 
the reverse of the truth when he says, 
** Les flutes Lydienes dont le son ^toit 
grave, et les Phrygienes, qui avoient 
le son aigu." (See the article on 
Greek Music in Smith's Dictionary of 
Antiquities, contributed by Professor 


18. In this way he carried on the war with the Milesians 
for eleven years, in the course of which he inflicted on them 
two terrible blows ; one in their own country in the district of 
Limeneium, the other in the plain of the Maeander. During 
six of these eleven years, Sadyattes, the son of Ardys, who 
first lighted the flames of this war, was king of Lydia, and 
made the incursions. Only the five following years belong to 
the reign of Alyattes, son of Sadyattes, who (as I said before), 
inheriting the war from his father, applied himself to it un- 
remittingly. The Milesians throughout the contest received 
no help at all from any of the lonians, excepting those of 
Olios, who lent them troops in requital of a like service 
rendered them in former times, the Milesians having fought 
on the side of the Chians during the whole of the war between 
them and the people of Erythrae. 

19. It was in the twelfth year of the war that the following 
mischance occurred from the firing of the harvest-fields. 
Scarcely had the com been set alight by the soldiers when 
a violent wind carried the flames against the temple of Minerva 
Assesia, which caught fire and was burnt to the ground. At 
the time no one made any account of the circumstance ; but 
afterwards, on the return of the army to Sardis, Alyattes fell 
sick. His illness continued, whereupon, either adnsed thereto 
by some friend, or perchance himself conceiving the idea, he 
sent messengers to Delphi to inquire of the god concerning his 
malady. On their arrival the Pythoness declared that no 
answer should be given them until they had rebuilt the temple 
of Minerva, burnt by the Lydians at Assesus in Milesia. 

20. Thus much I know from information given me by the 
Delphians ; the remainder of the story the Milesians add. 

The answer made by the oracle came to the ears of Peri- 
ander, son of Cypselus, who was a very close friend to Thrasy- 
bulus, tyrant of Miletus at that period. He instantly 
despatched a messenger to report the oracle to him, in order 
that Thrasybulus, forewarned of its tenor, might the better 
adapt his measures to the posture of affairs. 



Book I. 

21. Alyattes, the moment that the words of the oracle were 
reported to him, sent a herald to Miletus in hopes of conclud- 
ing a truce with Thrasybulus and the Milesians for such a 
time as was needed to rebuild the temple. The herald went 
upon his way ; but meantime Thrasybulus had been apprised 
of everything; and conjecturing what Alyattes would do, he 
contrived this artifice. He had all the com that was in the 
city, whether belonging to himself or to private persons, 
brought into the market-place, and issued an order that the 
Milesians should hold themselves in readiness, and, when he 
gave the signal, should, one and all, fall to drinking and 

22. The purpose for which he gave these orders was the 
following. He hoped that the Sardian herald, seeing so great 
store of com upon the ground, and all the city given up to 
festivity, would inform Alyattes of it, which fell out as he 
anticipated. The herald observed the whole, and when he 
had delivered his message, went back to Sardis. This circum- 
stance alone, as I gather, brought about the peace which 
ensued. Alyattes, who had hoped that there was now a great 
scarcity of com in Miletus, and that the people were worn 
down to the last pitch of suffering, when he heard from the 
herald on his return from Miletus tidings so contrary to those 
he had expected, made a treaty with the enemy by which the 
two nations became close friends and allies. He then built at 
Assesus two temples to Minerva instead of one,*^ and shortly 
after recovered from his malady. Such were the chief circum- 
stances of the war which Alyattes waged with Thrasybulus 
and the Milesians. 

23. This Periander, who apprised Thrasybulus of the oracle. 

* Tho feeling that restitution ehonld 
be twofold, wLcn made to the gods, was 
a feature of the religion of Rome. (See 
Niebuhr'8 History, vol. ii. p. 550^ E. T.) 
It was not recognized in Greece. 
Pericles proposed that, if necessity 
required, the Athenians should mako 
use of Athene's golden ornaments, and 

afterwards replace them with 
ments of equal yalne (jiii ixdvam. 
Thucyd. ii. 13). Undoubtedly there 
are points of similarity between the 
Lydian and Italic nations, which seem 
to indicate that the myth of TyrsdnoB 
and LyduB has in it some germ of 



better, now that they hear thou art about to build ships and 
sail against them, than to catch the Lydians at sea, and there 
revenge on them the wrongs of their brothers upon the main- 
land, whom thou boldest in slavery ? " Croesus was charmed 
with the turn of the speech ; and thinking there was reason in 
what was said, gave up his ship-building and concluded a 
league of amity with the lonians of the isles. 

28. Croesus, afterwards, in the course of many years, 
brought under his sway almost all the nations to the west of 
the Halys. The Lycians and Cilicians alone continued free ; 
aJl the other tribes he reduced and held in subjection. They 
were the following : the Lydians, Phrygians, Mysians, Marian- 
dynians, Chalybians, Paphlagonians, Thynian and Bithynian 
Thracians, Carians, lonians, Dorians, Cohans, and Pamphy- 

29. When all these conquests had been added to the Lydian 
empire, and the prosperity of Sardis was now at its height, 
there came thither, one after another, all the sages of Greece 
living at the time, and among them Solon, the Athenian.^ He 

^ For the position of these Beveral 
tribes see the map of Western Asia. 
It is not quite correct to speak of the 
Cilicians as dwelling loithin (i.e., west 
of) the Halys, for the Halys in its 
upper ooorse ran thrmigh Cilicia (8t& 
KcJJicMr, ch. 72), and that country lay 
chiefly mmth of the river. 

Lyeia and Cilicia woold be likely 
to maintain their independence, being 
both countries of great natural 
■trength. They lie upon the high 
mofontain-range of Tanms, which mns 
from east to west along the south of 
'Asia Minor, within about a degree of 
the shore, and sends down from the 
main chain a series of lateral branches 
or spars, which extend to the sea 
along the whole line of coast from the 
Gulf of Makri, opposite Rhodes, to 
the plain of Tarsus. The mountains 
of the interior are in many parts 
oorered with snow during the whole 
or iJto greater part of the year. (See 
Boiuifort*s Karamania.) 

' Solon's visit to Croesus was re- 
jected as fabulous before the time of 
Plutarch (Solon, c. 27), on acconnt of 
chronological difRcnIties, which it has 
been proposed to obviate by the hypo- 
thesis of the association of Cropsos in 
the government by his father, some 
considerable time before his death. 
(See Larcher in loc. ; and Clinton F. 
H. vol. ii. p. 365.) The improbability 
of this hypothesis is shown in the 
Crit. Essays (Essay i. sub fin.). There 
is no necessity for it, in order to bring 
Solon and Croesus into contact during 
the reign of the latter. Croesus most 
probably reigned from B.C. 568 to B. c. 
554. Solon certainly outlived the 
first usurpation of the government at 
Athens by Pisistratus, which was 
B.C. 560. Some writers spoke of 
his travels as commencing at that 
time. (Laert. i. 50; Suidas in voc. 
i6\(i>v.) It is possible that he travelled 
twice, once before and once after the 
oommoncement of the tyranny of 




was on his travels, having left Athens to be absent ten years, 
under the pretence of wishing to see the world, but really to 
avoid being forced to repeal any of the laws which, at the 
request of the Athenians, he had made for them. Without his 
sanction the Athenians could not repeal them, as they had 
boimd themselves under a heavy curse to be governed for ten 
years by the laws which should be imposed on them by Solon.* 
^ 30. On this account, as well as to see the world, Solon set 
out upon his travels, in the course of which he went to Egypt 
to the court of Amasis,^ and also came on a visit to Croesus at 
Sardis. Croesus received him as his guest, and lodged him in 
the royal palace. On the third or fourth day after, he bade 
his servants conduct Solon over his treasuries,* and show him 
all their greatness and magnificence.^^when he had seen them 
all, and, so far as time allowed, inspected them, Croesus 
addressed this question to him. '^ Stranger of Athens, we 
have heard much of thy wisdom and of thy travels through 
many lands, from love of knowledge and a wish to see the 
world. I am curious therefore to inquire of thee, whom, of 
all the men that thou hast seen, thou deemest the most 
happy?" This he asked because he thought himself the 
happiest of mortals : but Solon answered him without flattery, 
according to his true sentiments, " Tellus of Athens, sire." 
Full of astonishment at what he heard, Croesus demanded 
sharply, " And wherefore dost thou deem Tellus happiest ? " 
To which the other replied, " First, because his coimtry was 

Piaistratas. And what happened on 
the latter oocasion may have been 
transferred to the former. Or he may 
have started on his first travels a few 
years later than Clinton conjectures, 
B.C. 571, instead of B.C. 675 ; and his 
visit to Crcosns may have been in the 
last of the 10 years B.C. 561. 

• The travels of Solon are attested 
by Plato (Tim. p. 21) and others. 
Various motives were assigned for his 
leaving Athens. Laertios and Snidas 
said it was to escape the tyiunny of 
Pisistratns ; Plutarch, that it was to 
avoid the troubles into which he fore- 

saw Athens would be plunged (Solon, 
c. 25). The view of Herodotus haa 
prevailed, notwithstanding its intxinsio 

^ Amasis began to reign B.c. 60A 
Solon might sail from Athens to 
Egj'pt, thence to Cyprus (Herod. ▼. 
113), and from Cyprus to Lydia. This 
is the order of his travels according to 
Laertius (i. 49). Herodotus, too» 
seems to place the visit to Egypt 
before that to Lydia, when he says, 
iK^rifi-fitriu 6 S^Awy is Atyvwrow 
airficcro, Kal 8^ /cal ^f SUfpdtf. 

« Vide infri,vi. 125. 

Chap. 29-31. 



flourishing in his days, and he himself had sons both beantiful 
and good, and he lived to see children bom to each of them, 
and these children all grew up ; and further because, after a 
life spent in what our people look upon as comfort, his end 
was surpassingly glorious. In a battle between the Athenians 
and their neighbours near Eleusis, he came to the assistance 
of his countrymen, routed the foe, and died upon the field 
most gallantly. The Athenians gave him a public funeral on- 
the si)ot where he fell, and paid him the highest honours." 

81. Thus did Solon admonish Croesus by the example of 
Tellus, enumerating the manifold particulars of his happiness. 
When he had ended, Croesus inquired a second time, who 
after Tellus seemed to him the happiest, expecting that at any 
rate, he would be given the second place. " Cleobis and Bito," 
Solon answered ; " they were of Argive race ; their fortune 
was enough for their wants, and they were besides endowed 
with so much bodily strength that they had both gained prizes 
at the Games. Also this tale is told of them : — There was 
a great festival in honour of the goddess Juno at Argos, to 
which their mother must needs be taken in a car.® Now the 
oxen did not come home from the field in time : so the youths, 
fearful of being too late, put the yoke on their own necks, and 
themselves drew the car in which their mother rode. Five 
and forty furlongs did they draw her, and stopped before the 
temple. This deed of theirs was witnessed by the whole 
assembly of worshippers, and then their life closed in t^e best 
possible way. Herein, too, God showed forth most evidently, 
how much better a thing for man death is than life. For the 
Argive men, who stood around the car, extolled the vast 
strength of the youths ; and the Argive women extolled the 

' Cioeio (ToBO. Diiip. i. 47) and 
oiben, m Senrins (ad Virg. Georg. iii. 
632) and the anther of the Flatonio 
diaiogne entitled Axiochus (367, C), 
relate that the ground of the necessity 
was the circnmstanoe that the jonths' 
mother was priestess of Juno at the 
BerriiiB wbjb a pestilence had 

destroyed the oxen, which contradicts 
Herodotus. Otherwifle the tale is told 
with fewer varieties than most ancient 
Btoriefl. The Arg^ves had a sculptured 
representation of the event in their 
temple of Apollo Lycius to the time of 
Pausanias. (Pausan. ii. xx. § 2.) 



Book I. 

mother who was blessed with such a pair of sons ; and the 
mother herself, overjoyed at the deed and at the praises it had 
won, standing straight before the image, besought the goddess 
to bestow on Cleobis and Bito, the sons who had so mightily 
honoured her, the highest blessing to which mortals can 
attain. Her prayer ended, they offered sacrifice and partook 
of the holy banquet, after which the two youths fell asleep in 
the temple. They never woke more, but so passed from the 
earth. The Argives, looking on them as among the best of 
men, caused statues of them to be made, which they gave to 
the shrine at Delphi." 

82. When Solon had thus assigned these youths the second 
place, Croesus broke in angrily, " What, stranger of Athens, 
is my happiness, then, so utterly set at nought by thee, that 
thou dost not even put me on a level with private men ? *' 

" Oh ! Croesus," replied the other, " thou askedst a question 
concerning the condition of man, of one who knows that the 
power above us is full of jealousy,* and fond of troubling our 
lot. A long life gives one to witness much, and experience 
much oneself, that one would not choose. Seventy years I 
regard as the limit of the life of man.** In these seventy 
years are contained, without reckoning intercalary months, 
twenty-five thousand and two hundred days. Add an inter- 

^ In tho original, ^doptphp iby rh 
Ottoy, The <p06yos of God is a leading 
feature in Herodotos's conception of 
tho Deity, and no donbt is one of the 
chief moral conolnsions which he drew 
from his own turveyof human events, 
and intended to impress on us by his 
history. (Vide infra, iii. 40, vii. 46, 
and especially vii. 10, § 5-6.) Plu- 
tarch long ago reprehended this view 
(De Herod. Malignit. Op. ii. p. 857) ; 
and notwithstanding the ingenious 
defence of Valckenaer (ad Herod, iii. 
40), repeated since by Dahlmann (Life 
of Herodotus, oh. yiii. p. 131, E. T.) 
and Bfthr (ad Herod, i. 32), it cannot 
be Justified. Herodotus's ^v€p6s Bths is 
sot timply the " thus uUor" of religious 
Romana, much less the **jeaUni$ God " 

of Scripture, to which Dahlmann oom- 
paros tho expression. This last is a 
completely distinct notion. The idea 
of an avenging God is incliided in the 
Herodotoan conception, but is far 
from being the whole of it. Proe- 
perity, not pride, eminence, not arro- 
gance, provokes him. He does not like 
any one to be great or happy but him- 
self (vii. 46, end). 

What is most remarkable is, that 
with such a conception of the Divine 
Nature, Herodotus could maintain such 
a placid, cheerful, childlike temper. 
Possibly he was serene because he felt 
secure in his mediocrity. 

* " The days of our years are three- 
score years and ten" (Ps. xc. 10). 

CflAF. 81, 82. 



calary month to every other year, that the seasons may come 
round at the right time, and there will be, besides the seventy 
years, thirty-five such months, making an addition of one 
thousand and fifty days. The whole number of the days con- 
tained in the seventy years will thus be twenty-six thousand 
two hundred and fifty,® whereof not one but will produce 
events unlike the rest. Hence man is wholly accident. For 
thyself, oh ! Croesus, I see that thou art wonderfully rich, and 
art the lord of many nations ; but with respect to that whereon 
thou questionest me, I have no answer to give, until I hear 
that thou hast closed thy life happily. For assuredly he 
who possesses great store of riches is no nearer happiness 
than he who has what suffices for his daily needs, unless it 
BO hap that luck attend upon him, and so he continue in the 
enjoyment of all his good things to the end of life. For many 
of the wealthiest men have been unfavoured of fortune, and 
many whose means were moderate have had excellent luck. 
Men of the former class excel those of the latter but in two 
respects ; these last excel the former in many. The wealthy 
man is better able to content his desires, and to bear up 
against a sudden buffet of calamity. The other has less 
ability to withstand these evils (from which, however, his 
good luck keeps him clear), but he enjoys all these following 

* No oommentator on Herodotus 
has saoceeded in explaining the 
curious mistake whereby the solar 
Tear is made to average 875 days. 
That Herodotus knew the trae solar 
year was not 875, bnt more nearly 3G5 
days, is clear from book ii. ch. 4. It 
is also dear that he most be right as 
to the fact that the Greeks were in the 
habit of intercalating a month every 
other year. This point is confirmed 
by a passage in Censorinus (De Die 
KataL rviii. p. 91), where it is ex- 
plained that the Greek years were 
alternately of 12 and 13 months, and 
that the biennimm was called ** annas 
magnos," or rpicnypis. 

Two inaocnxacies produce the error 
in Herodotus. In the first place he 
makes Sokm ooimc his months at 30 

days each, whereas it is notorions that 
the Greek months, after the system of 
intercalation was introdaced, were 
alternately of 29 and 30 da}*^. By 
this error his first nnmber is raised 
from 24,780 to 25,200; and also his 
second nmnber from 1033 to 1050. 
Secondly, ho omits to mention that 
from time to time (every 4th rpimipls 
probably) the intei*calary month was 
omitted altogether. (See Dr. Schmits's 
account of the Greek year, in Smith's 
Dictionary of Antiquities, 2nd edit. p. 
222 ; where, however, by an accidental 
slip of the pen, the insertion of an 
additional month every fourth year 
{rpitrripls ?) is substituted for its omis- 
sion.) These two corrections would 
reduce the number of days to the 
proper amount. 


blessings : he is whole of limb, a stranpjor to disease, free from 
misfortune, happy in his children, and comely to look upon. 
K, in addition to all this, he end his life well, he is of a truth 
the man of whom thou art in searcli, the man who may 
rightly be termed happy. Call him, however, until he die, 
not happy but fortunate. Scarcely, indeed, can any man 
unite all these advantages : as there is no country which 
contains within it all that it needs, l)ut eaeli, while it possesses 
some things, lacks others, and the best country is that which 
contains the most ; so no single human being is complete in 
every respect — something is always lacking. He who unites 
the greatest number of advantages, and retaining them to the 
day of his death, then dies peaceably, that man alone, sire, is, 
in my judgment, entitled to bear tlie name of * happy.* But 
in every matter it behoves us to mark well the end : for often- 
times God gives men a gleam of happiness, and then plunges 
them into ruin." "^ 

33. Such was the speech which Solon addressed to Cropsus, 
a speech which brought him neither largi»ss nor honour. The 
king saw him depart with much indifference, since he thought 
that a man must be an arrant fool who made no account of 
present good, but bade men always wait and mark the end. 

34. After Solon had gone away a dreadful vengeance, sent 
of God, came upon Croesus, to punish him, it is likely, for 
deeming himself the happiest of men. First he had a dream 
in the night, which foreshowed him truly the evils that were 
about to befall him in the person of his son. For Croesus had 

' Laroher says, " Sophoclos a para- 
phias^ oette sentence do Solon dans 
■on CBdipe Boi (vol. i. p. 232). Bat it 
migbt be argaod with quite as much 
prob»bilit/ that Herodotus has here 
boROwed firam Sophocles, since Hero- 
doinsMeint to haTO continued to make 
^^AftitiouB to his history as late perhaps 
wt K.C. 4£5 (mb the introduoUnry Essay, 
p. A3), nikl Sophocles exhibited as 
«arl> as b.o. 468. As tho exact date 
M tb« pabUcation of the (Edipus 
I'yriuinua li mknowii, and it is un- 

certain whether tho passa^ in Hero- 
dotus was part of the original history, 
or one of the additions which he made 
at Thuriam, it is impossible to say 
which writer was tho plagiarist. 
Perliaps the yyAyn^ was roally one of 
Solon's, as Aristotle believed (Eth. 
Nic. i. x.>. It became a favourite r6itos 
of Greek traf^edy. See, besides tho 
passages in Sophocles (Qild. T. 1195, 
and 1528.30), Knrip. Andromach. 100, 
Troas, 513, &o. &c. 

Chap. 82^5. 



two sonB, one blasted by a natural defect, being deaf and 
dumb ; the other, distinguished far above all his co-mates in 
every pursuit. The name of the last was Atys. It was this 
son concerning whom he dreamt a dream, that he would die 
by the blow of an iron weaix)n. When he woke, he con- 
sidered earnestly with himself, and, greatly alarmed at the 
dream, instantly made his son take a wife, and whereas in 
former years the youth had been wont to command the Lydian 
forces in the field, he now would not suffer him to accompany 
them. All the spears and javelins, and weapons used in the 
wars, he removed out of the male apartments, and laid them 
in heaps in the chambers of the women, fearing'j;^lest perhaps 
one of the weapons that hung against the wall might fall and 
strike him. 

86. Now it chanced that while he was making arrangements 
for the wedding, there came to Sardis a man under a mis- 
fortune, who had upon him the stain of blood. He was by 
race a Phrygian, and belonged to the family of the king. 
Presenting himself at the palace of Croesus, he prayed to be 
admitted to purification according to the customs of the 
country. Now the Lydian method of purifying is very 
nearly the same as the Greek. Croesus granted the request, 
and went through all the customary rites, after which he 
asked the suppliant of his birth and country, addressing him 
as follows : — " Who art thou, stranger, and from what part of 
Phrygia fleddest thou to take refuge at my hearth? And 
whom, moreover, what man or what woman, hast thou 
slain?" "Oh! king," replied the Phrygian, "I am the son 
of Gordias, son of Midas. I am named Adrastus.® The man 
I unintentionally slew was my own brother. For this my 

* This name, and likewise the name 
of Atys, are thought to be significant. 
Adraatiu is " the doomed " — " the 
man nnable to escape." Atys is '* the 
joaih onder the inflnence of At^ " — 
*<tlie man jndiciallj blind." (See 
Miire's Litezatiire of Greece, toL iy. 
p. 8:^.) 

Hephsostion gave the name of the 
brother as Agathon, and said that ho 
and Adrastos quarrelled abont a quail 
(ap. Phot. Bibl. ood. 190, p. 472) ; but 
the discoveries of Hephsestion in snch 
matters are a severe trial to the 
modem reader's credulity. 



Book I. 

father drove me from the land, and I lost all. Then fled I 
here to thee." "Thou art the oflfspring," Croesus rejoined, 
"of a house friendly to mine,® and thou art come to friends. 
Thou shalt want for nothing so long as thou abidest in my 
dominions. Bear thy misfortime as easily as thou mayest, so 
will it go best with thee." Thenceforth Adrastus lived in the 
palace of the king. 

86. It chanced that at this very same time there was in the 
Mysian Olympus a huge monster of a boar, which went forth 
often from this mountain-country, and wasted the corn-fields 
of the Mysians. Many a time had the Mysians collected to 
hunt the beast, but instead of doing him any hurt, they came 
oflf always with some loss to themselves. At length they sent 
ambassadors to Croesus, who delivered their message to him 
in these words : ** Oh ! king, a mighty monster of a boar has 
appeared in our parts, and destroys the labour of our hands. 
We do our best to take him, but in vain. Now therefore we 
beseech thee to let thy son accompany us back, with some 
chosen youths and hoimds, that we may rid our country of 
the animal." Such was the tenor of their prayer. 

But Croesus bethought him of his dream, and answered, 
" Say no more of my son going with you ; that may not be in 
any wise. He is but just joined in wedlock, and is busy enough 
with that. I will grant you a picked band of Lydians, and all 
my himtsmen and hounds ; and I w^ill charge those whom I send 
to use all zeal in aiding you to rid your country of the brute." 

87. With this reply the Mysians were content ; but the king's 
son, hearing what the prayer of the Mysians was, came 
suddenly in, and on the refusal of Croesus to let him go 

* Here the legend has forgotten that 
Phrygfian independence was at an end. 
We might, indeed, get over the difiS- 
eolty 0$ a Phrygian royal house, and 
m King Gordias at this time, by snp- 
puflfng, with Larcher (yoI. i. p. 287), 
ilijit Phry^ had beoome tribntaiT' 
wliiic* rotmniiig her kings: but the 
liLiipiagv of CniB^m ia not suitable to 
tuch a tfuppofiitiou. Xquality appears 

in the phrase, " thou art the offspring 
of a house friendly to mine, and thou 
art oome to friends ; " and the inde> 
pendenoe of Fhrygia seems clearly 
implied in the proviso, "thou shalt 
want for nothing bo long as thou 
abidest in my dominions" (jjAvwv ip 
4ifi9r4pov), Phryg^ is not under 



with them, thus addressed his father : " Formerly, my father, 
it was deemed the noblest and most suitable thing for me to 
frequent the wars and hunting-parties, and win myself glory 
in them ; but now thou keepest me away from both, although 
thou hast never beheld in me either cowardice or lack of spmt. 
What face meanwhile must I wear as I walk to the forum or 
return from it? What must the citizens, what must my 
young bride think of me ? What sort of man will she suppose 
her husband to be ? Either, therefore, let me go to the chase 
of this boar, or give me a reason why it is best for me to 
do according to thy wishes." 

88. Then Croesus answered, "My son, it is not because I 
have seen in thee either cowardice or aught else which has dis- 
pleased me that I keep thee back ; but because a vision which 
came before me in a dream as I slept, warned me that thou 
wert doomed to die young, pierced by an iron weapon. It was 
this which first led me to hasten on thy wedding, and now it 
hinders me from sending thee upon this enterprise. Fain 
would! keep watch over thee, if by any means I may cheat 
fate of thee during my own lifetime. For thou art the one 
and only son that I possess ; the other, whose hearing is 
destroyed, I regard as if he were not." 

89. "Ah! father," returned the youth, "I blame thee not 
for keeping watch over me after a dream so terrible ; but if 
thou mistakest, if thou dost not apprehend the dream aright, 
'tis no blame for me to show thee wherein thou errest. Now 
the dream, thou saidst thyself, foretold that I should die 
stricken by an iron weapon. But what hands has a boar to 
strike with ? What iron weapon does he wield ? Yet this is 
what thou fearest for me. Had the dream said that I should die 
pierced by a tusk, then thou hadst done well to keep me away ; 
bat it said a weapon. Now here we do not combat men, but 
a wild animal. I pray thee, therefore, let me go with them." 

40. "There thou hast me, my son," said Croesus, "thy 
interpretation is better than mine. I yield to it, and change 
my mindy and consent to let thee go." 

172 DEATH OF ATYS. Book I. 

41. Then the king sent for Adrastus, the Phrygian, and said 
to him, ** Adrastus, when thou wert smitten with the rod of 
aflSiction — no reproach, my friend — I purified thee, and have 
taken thee to live with me in my palace, and have been at 
every charge. Now, therefore, it behoves thee to requite the 
good offices which thou hast received at my hands by consent- 
ing to go with my son on this himting party, and to watch 
over him, if perchance you should be attacked upon the road 
by some band of daring robbers. Even apart from this, it 
were right for thee to go where thou mayest make thyself 
famous by noble deeds. They arc the heritage of thy family, 
and thou too art so stalwart and strong." 

42. Adrastus answered, ** Except for thy request, oh ! king, 
I would rather have kept away from this hunt ; for methinks 
it ill beseems a man under a misfortune such as mine to 
consort with his happier compeers; and besides, I have no 
heart to it. On many grounds I had stayed behind ; but, as 
thou urgest it, and I am bound to pleasure thee (for truly it 
does behove me to requite thy good offices), I am content to 
do as thou wishest. For thy son, whom thou givest into my 
charge, be sure thou shalt receive him back safe and sound, 
so far as depends upon a guardian's carefulness." 

43. Thus assured, Croesus let them depart, accompanied by 
a band of picked youths, and well provided with dogs of chace. 
When they reached Olympus, they scattered in quest of the 
animal ; he was soon found, and the hunters, drawing round 
him in a circle, hurled their weapons at him. Then the 
stranger, the man who had been purified of blood, whose 
name was Adrastus, he also hurled his spear at the boar, but 
missed his aim, and struck Atys. Thus was the son of Croesus 
slain by the point of an iron weapon, and the warning of the 
vision was fulfilled. Then one ran to Sardis to bear the 
tidings to the king, and he came and informed him of the 
combat and of the fate that had befallen his son. 

44. If it was a heavy blow to the father to learn that his 
child was dead, it yet more strongly affected him to think that 

Chap. 41-45. 



the very man whom he himself once purified had done the 
deed. In the violence of his grief he called aloud on Jupiter 
Catharsius/ to be a witness of what he had suffered at the 
stranger's hands. Afterwards he invoked the same god as 
Jupiter Ephistius and HetfiBreus — using the one term because 
he had unwittingly harboured in his house the man who had 
now slain his son ; and the other, because the stranger, who 
had been sent as his child's guardian, had turned out his 
most cruel enemy. 

45. Presently the Lydians arrived, bearing the body of the 
youth, and behind them followed the homicide. He took his 
stand in front of the co^e, and, stretching forth his hand to 
Crcesus, delivered himself into his power with earnest en- 
treaties that he would sacrifice him upon the body of his son 
— " his former misfortune was burthen enough ; now that he 
had added to it a second, and had brought ruin on the man 
who purified him, he could not bear to live." v^Then Croesus, 
when he heard these words, was moved with pity towards 
Adrastus, notwithstanding the bitterness of his own calamity ; 
and so he answered, ** Enough, my friend ; I have all the 
revenge that I require, since thou givest sentence of death 
against thyself. But in sooth it is not thou who hast injured 
me, except so far as thou hast unwittingly dealt the blow. 
Some god is the author of my misfortune, and I was fore- 
warned of it a long time ago." Croesus after this buried the 
body of his son, with such honours as befitted the occasion. 
Adrastus, son of Gordias, son of Midas, the destroyer of his 
brother in time past, the destroyer now of his purifier, regard- 
ing himself as the most unfortunate wretch whom he had ever 

^ Japiter was Catharsins, the god of 
porificationB, not (as BAhr says) on 
aooount of the resemblanoe of tho 
rites of purification with those of 
Japiter MtOdxtos, but simply in the 
same way that he was Ephistios and 
HetflBrius, god of hearths, and of com- 
panionship, because he presided over 
all occasions of obligation between 
man mod man, and the purified person 

contracted an obligation towards his 
purifier. Comj)are, on the general 
principle, Eustath. ad Horn. Od. xvi. 
429, " *l(rr4ov H iri fidprvs X^trai rots 
Ueraus 6 Zths KoBit, Kol rois iraipois, fya 
6)s (V fli^s Kcd iiririfi'fiTctp^ irotriruc&s 
ciVctV, Sartpoy ro7s kfiaprdyovai yiyyoiro." 
— See also Note A at the end of this 



Book I. 

kno^m, BO soon as all was quiet about the place, slew himself 
upon the tomb. Croesus, bereft of his son, gave himself up 
to mourning for two full years. 

46. At the end of this time the grief of Croesus was inter- 
rupted by intelligence from abroad. He learnt that Cyrus, 
the son of Cambyses, had destroyed the empire of Astyages, 
the son of Cyaxares; and that the Persians were becoming 
daily more powerful. This led him to consider with himself 
whether it were possible to check the growing power of that 
people before it came to a head. With this design he resolved 
to make instant trial of the several oracles in Greece, and of 
the one in Libya.* So he sent his messengers in different direc- 
tions, some to Delphi, some to Abae in Phocis, and some to 
Dodona ; others to the oracle of Amphiaraiis ; others to that 
of Trophonius ; others, again, to Branchidse in Milesia.® These 
were the Greek oracles which he consulted. To Libya he sent 
another embassy, to consult the oracle of Ammon. These 
messengers were sent to test the knowledge of the oracles, 
that, if they were found really to return true answers, he 
might send a second time, and inquire if he ought to attack 
the Persians. 

47. The messengers who were despatched to make trial of 
the oracles were given the following instructions : they were 
to keep count of the days from the time of their leaving 

* " TJie one in Libya," (Africa)— that 
of Ammon, because Egypt was re- 
garded bj Herodotus as in Asia, not 
in Africa. (See below, ii. 17. 05. iv. 39. 
197.) In Kgj-pt there were nnmerons 
oracles- (ii. 83). 

' The oracle at Aba) seems to hare 
ranked next to that at Delphi. Com- 
pare SophocL (Ed. Tyr. 897-899. 
Oirte Ihi rhv ABucrow tJfu yas ^ir* 6/ii^aXhy 
a4fiw^ ou8* is r\nf *Afiaiffi va6v, where 
the Sc-holiast has absurdly, "A/Soi, r&wos 
Awclas. It is again mentioned by 
Herodotus, viii. 134. With respect to 
the oracle of Dodona — ** the most 
■ndent of all in Greece"— vide infra, 
ii. 52. The oracular shrine of Tro- 
phoniai wm at Lebadeiay in Bcsotia 

(infra, viii. 134). That of Amphiara^ 
is generally thought to have been at 
Thebes. (Grote's History of Greece, 
vol. iv. p. 253. Bahr's Index, vol. iv. 
p. 450.) It appears, however, to have 
been really at, or rather near, OrApuB 
(Pans. I. xxxiv. § 2 ; Liv. xlv. 27. 
Dica^rch. Fr. 59. § 6). The passage 
of Herodotus which has been supposed 
to fix it to Thebes (viii. 134), leaves 
the locality uncertain. It only appears 
that Mys visited the shrine while he 
was staying at Thebes, which he might 
easily do, as OrApus was but about 20 
mileH from that city. 

The Orientals do not appear to have 
possessed any indigenous oracles. 



Sardis, and, reckoning from that date, on the hundredth day 
they were to consult the oracles, and to inquire of them what 
Croesus the son of Alyattes, king of Lydia, was doing at that 
moment. The answers given them were to be taken down in 
writing, and brought back to him. None of the replies remain 
on record except that of the oracle at Delphi. There, the 
moment that the Lydians entered the sanctuary,^ and before 
they put their questions,*^ the Pythoness thus answered them 
in hexameter verse : — 

" I can oonnt the sands, and I can measore the ocean ; 
I have ears for the silent, and know what the dnmb man meaneth ; 
Lo ! on my sense there striketh the smell of a shell. covered tortoise, 
Boiling now on the fire, with the flesh of a lamb, in a oanldron, — 
Brass is the vessel below, and brass the cover above it. 

48. These words the Lydians wrote down at the mouth of 
the Pythoness as she prophesied, and then set off on their 
return to Sardis. When all the messengers had come back 
with the answers which they had received, Croesus undid the 
rolls, and read what was written in each. Only one approved 
itself to him, that of the Delphic oracle. This he had no 
sooner heard than he instantly made an act of adoration, and 
accepted it as true, declaring that the Delphic was the only 
really oracular shrine, the only one that had discovered in 
what way he was in fact employed. For on the departure of 
his messengers he had set himself to think what was most 
impossible for any one to conceive of his doing,® and then. 

* is rh fi4yapoy, Larcher and 
Beloe translate — *' the temple of 
Delphi"— "le temple de Delphes"— 
inoorrectlj. The fi^yapor was the 
inner, shrine, the sacred chamber 
where the oracles were given— the. 
" penetrale templi " as Schweighaaoser 
renders the word (cf. infra, ii. 141, 
148, 169, Ac.). 

* Here Schweigharaser has missed 
the sense equally with Beloe and 
Larcher. AH render hrttp^tw, " had 
asked," instead of "were in the act 
of addng," or "were for asking." 
Herodotns changes from the aorist 
clr^doy, to the imperfect hrtip^toy. 

to mark a change in tho action. Had 
ho meant that they " had asked " this 
qncstion, he would have said ^ircipei- 
rrja-ay. For a similar use of the im- 
perfect, vide infra, i. 68. 

• Whatever explanation is to be 
given of this remarkable oracle, that 
of Larcher seems to bo precluded, not 
less by these words than by proba- 
bility. He supposes that Crcesns had 
determined what he would do before 
he sent his embassies, and had con. 
fided his intention to one of his ambas- 
sadors, who imparted the secret to the 
Delphian priests. The same view is 
taken by De Quincey, in his Essay on 



Book I. 

waiting till the day agreed on came, he acted as he had 
determined. He took a tortoise and a lamb,^ and cutting 
them in pieces with his own hands, boiled them both together 
in a brazen cauldron, covered over with a lid which was also 
of brass. 

49. Such then was the answer returned to Croesus from 
Delphi. WTiat the answer was which the Lydians who went 
to the shrine of Amphiaraiis and performed the customary 
rites, obtained of the oracle there, I have it not in my power 
to mention, for there is no record of it. All that is known is, 
that Croesus believed himself to have found there also an 
oracle which spoke the truth. 

50. After this Croesus, having resolved to propitiate the 
Delphic god with a magnificent sacrifice, offered up three 
thousand of every kind of sacrificial beast,^ and besides made 

the Pagan Oracles (Works, vol. viii.pp. 
196, 197). If we allow Crcosus to have 
possessed ordinary common sense, it 
is inconceivable that he should have 
been gnilty of a folly which was so 
likely to frustrate his whole design. 
The utter incredulity of Cicero seems 
better than this — " Cur autem hoc 
credam unquam cditnm Crceso P ant 
Herodotnm cur veraciorem ducam 
Ennio ? " (Do Div. ii. tom. vi. p. 655, 

It is impossible to discuss such a 
question as the nature of the ancient 
oracles, which has had volumes writ- 
ten upon it, within the limits of a 
note. I will only observe that in 
forming our judgment on the subject, 
two points should be kept steadily in 
view : 1. the fact that the Pvthoness 
(^weuHltncri ris Ix^^^'' ^>^*^A^ Tlv0wyos^, 
whom St. Paul met with on his first 
entrance into European Greec«, waa 
reaUy possessed by an evil spirit, which 
Bt. Paul cast out, thereby depriving 
her masters of all their hopes of gain 
(Acts xvi. 16-19) : and 2. the pheno- 
mena of Mesmerism. In one or other 
of these, or in both of them combined, 
will bo found the simplest, and pro- 
bably thd truest explanation, of all 

that is really marvellous in the re- 
8i)onseB of the oracles. 

7 Mr. Birch thinks that GrcBsus chofle 
these two because they were the sacred 
animals of A]K)11o and of Ammon ; the 
two chief oracles of the day being those 
of Delphi and Ammon ; thinking to test 
the power of those gods by killing their 
favourite emblems, and by the oddity 
of the selection. — [G. W.] 

^ This is undoubtedly the meaning^ 
of «cT^v€a Tck B^fftfia irdirra rpitr)(t^uu 
Cf . infra, iv. 88. Mcu^poicA^a ^«^0-aro 
icaci ZfKcu ix. 70. Tlav<rayip wdyra 94Ka 
€^aip4&ri. Although Larcher had rightly 
rendered the passage, " trois mille vio- 
times de toutcs les esp^ces d'animaoz 
qu'il est pcrmis d'offrir aux Dienx," 
Beloe missed the sense, and translated 
*' three thousand chosen victims." Hie 
chapter is, indeed, one of Beloe's 
worst. He renders &s 8i 4k r^s Bvchis 
iyivtro^ Korrax^dfitvos j^nnrhv AirXcror, 
ilfUKKiyBia i^ avrov ^I^Aovrc, "asaJt ihs 
conclusion of the above ceremony a oon- 
siderable quantity of gold hcbd run 
together, he formed of it a number of 
tiles ; " and ^ir) fi^y rcb jtaKp6r^pa irotimm 
k^cari\<u(rT<Lt M h\ rh, fipax^^peh rptwd^ 
Keuffra — " the larger of these wer9 tax, 
palms long, the amaUer three." 




a hage pile^ and placed upon it conches coated with BilYer and 
with gold, and golden goblets, and robes and vests of pnrple ; 
all which he burnt in the hope of thereby making himself 
more secure of the favour of the god. Further he issued his 
orders to all the people of the land to offer a sacrifice accord- 
ing to their means. When the sacrifice was ended, the king 
melted down a vast quantity of gold, and ran it into ingots , 
making them six palms long, three palms broad, and one palm 
in thickness. The number of ingots was a hundred and 
seventeen, four being of refined gold, in weight two talents and 
a half; 'the others of pale gold, and in weight two talents. 
He also caused a statue of a lion to be made in refined gold, 
the weight of which was ten talents. At the time when the 
temple of Delphi was burnt to the ground,^ this lion fell firom 
the ingots on which it was placed ; it now stands in the 
Corinthian treasury, and weighs only six talents and a half, 
having lost three talents and a half by the fire. 

61. On the completion of these works, Croesus sent them 
away to Delphi, and with them two bowls of an enormous 
size, one of gold, the other of silver, which used to stand, the 
latter upon the right, the former upon the left, as one entered 
the temple. They too were moved at the time of the fire ; and 
now the golden one is in the Glazomenian treasury, and 
weighs eight talents and forty-two minsB ; the silver one 
stands in the comer of the aiite-chapel, and holds six hundred 

* The reading rptrw iiiurAKarrov sng. 
geeted by Matthiaa, and adopted by 
SchweighsBiuer, Gaisford, and Biihr, 
seems to be required instead of the 
r^ illuriKcana of the MSS., not only 
because Herodotus mnst haye known 
pure gold to be heavier then alloyed, 
bat also becanse he is not in the habit 
of reckomng by half talents. He 
wcnild not be more likely to say of a 
thing, " it weighed three half .talents," 
than a modem to say, " it weighed 
three half-pounds." With respect to 
the weight of these ingots, it has been 
calcnlated (Bihr in loc.) from their 
siie, that thooe of pore gold weighed 


825 lbs. (French), and therefore those 
of palo or alloyed gold 260 lbs. To 
this result it is objected that it pro- 
duces a talent not elsewhere heard of, 
viz. one of 130 lbs. (French). Hero- 
dotus, however, would be a bettor 
jndg^ of the size of the ingots than of 
their weight. He probably measured 
them with his own hand, but he must 
have taken the word of the Delphians 
as to what they weighed. The Del- 
phians are not likely to have under- 
stated their value. 

» Vide infra, ii. 180, ,v. 62. It was 
burnt accidentally — ainof^drtts Kcrrt" 




Book I. 

amphorffi.' This is known, because the Delphians fill it at 
the time of the Theophania.® It is said by the Delphians to 
be a work of Theodore the Samian,^ and I think that they 
say true, for assuredly it is the work of no common artist. 
Croesus sent also four silver casks, which are in the Corinthian 
treasury, and two lustral vases, a golden and a silver one. 
On the former is inscribed the name of the LacedsBmonians, 
and they claim it as a gift of theirs, but wrongly, since it was 
really given by Croesus. The inscription upon it was cut by 
a Delphian, who wished to pleasure the Lacedsemonians. His 
name is known to me, but I forbear to mention it. The boy, 
through whose hand the water runs, is (I confess) a Lacedae- 
monian gift, but they did not give either of the lustral vases. 
Besides these various offerings, Croesus sent to Delphi many 
others of less account, among the rest a number of round 
silver basins. Also he dedicated a female figure in gold, 
three cubits high, which is said by the Delphians to be the 
statue of his baking- woman ; and further, he presented the 
necklace and the girdles of his wife. 

52. These were the offerings sent by Croesus to Delphi. To 
the shrine of Amphiaraiis, with whose valour and misfortune 
he was acquainted,*^ he sent a shield entirely of gold, and a 

» Above 5000 gallons (cf. iv. 81). 

• There is no need of the correction 
of Yalckenoer (Sto^tvioifri for Oco^- 
yfotin), since both in Jnlins Pollnx (r. 
i. 34) and in Philostratns (Vit. Apoll. 
Tyan. iv. 31) there is mention of the 
Theophania, as a festival celebrated 
by the Greeks. No particulars are 
Imown of it. 

^ Vide infra, iii. 42. Pansanias as. 
cribed to Theodore of Samos the inven- 
tion of casting in bronze, and spoke 
of him also as an architect (iii. zii. 
§ 8; VIII. xiv. § 5). Pliny agreed 
with both statements (Nat. Hist. 
XXXV. 12), and described also certain 
minnte works of his making. It has 
been suggested that there were two 
Theodores, both Samians ; the first, 
the architect and inventor of casting 

in bronze, who flonrished before B.C. 
600 : the second, the maker of this 
bowl, and also of the ring of Polycrates 
(cf. Bahr ad loc). The genealogy 
of the family is thus g^ven by K. O. 

RhoBcns (ah. B.C 640) 




Theodoras (ac. SM) 

" For the story of Amphiarafts, of. 
Pansan. i. 34, ii. 18, § 6. JEMhyh Sept. 
contr. Th. 564 et seqq. The " miafor- 
tnne" is his being engulfed neiur 
OrApns, or (as some said) at Harma 
in BoBotia. 

The fact that the gifts sent to Am- 
phiaraiifl were seen by HerodotuB ai 



spear, also of solid gold, both head and shaft. They were 
still existing in my day at Thebes, laid up in the temple of 
Ismenian Apollo. 

53. The messengers who had the charge of conveying these 
treasures to the shrines, received instructions to ask the 
oracles whether Croesus should go to war with the Persians, 
and if so, whether he should strengthen himself by the forces 
of an ally. Accordingly, ^hen they had reached their desti- 
nations and presented the gifts, they proceeded to consult the 
oracles in the following terms : — " Croesus, king of Lydia and 
other countries, believing that these are the only real oracles 
in all the world, has sent you such presents as your discoveries 
deserved, and now inquires of you whether he shall go to war 
with the Persians, and if so, whether he shall strengthen him- 
self by the forces of a confederate." Both the oracles agreed 
in the tenor of their reply, which was in each case a prophecy 
that if Croesus attacked the Persians, he would destroy a 
mighty empire, and a recommendation to him to look and see 
who were the most powerful of the Greeks, and to make 
alliance with them. 

54. At the receipt of these oracular replies Croesus was over- 
joyed, and feeling sure now that he would destroy the empire 
of the Persians, he sent once more to Pytho, and presented to 
the Delphians, the number of whom he had ascertained, two 
gold staters apiece.® In return for this the Delphians granted 
to Croesus and the Lydians the privilege of precedency in con- 
sulting the oracle, exemption from all charges, the most 
honourable seat at the festivals, and the perpetual right of 
becoming at pleasure citizens of their town. 

* 65. After sending these presents to the Delphians, Croesus 

Thihet, does not militate against the 
position maintained in a former note, 
that the oracolar shrine of Amphi- 
araus was not at Thebes bat at Ordpns. 
The Thebans, ere they lost Ordpns to 
Attica, might have carried away the 
most Talnable of its treasures to thoir 
own city. Indeed this passage may 

rather be adduced as proof that the' 
shrine of Amphiaraus was not at 
Thobes. For, had it been, why should 
the shield and spear have been in the 
temple of Ismenian Apollo, and not 
at the shrine itself ? 

^ For tho value of the stater see 
note on Book vii. ch. 28. 



Book I. 

a third time consulted the oracle, for having once proved its 
truthfulness, he wished to make constant use of it. The 
question whereto he now desired an answer was — "Whether 
his kingdom would be of long duration ? " The following was 
the reply of the Pythoness : — 

" Wait till the time sball come when a mule is monarch of Media ; 
Then, thon delicate Lydian, away to the pebbles of Hermns ; ' 
Haste, oh ! haste thee away, nor blaah to behave like a coward.*' 

56. Of all the answers that had reached him, this pleased 
him far the best, for it seemed incredible that a mule should 
ever come to be king of the Medes, and so he concluded that 
the sovereignty would never depart from himself or his seed 
after him. Afterwards he turned his thoughts to the alliance 
which he had been recommended to contract, and sought to 
ascertain by inquiry which was the most powerful of the 
Grecian states. His inquiries pointed out to him two states 
as pre-eminent above the rest. These were the LacedsB- 
monians and the Athenians, the former of Doric the latter of 
Ionic blood. And indeed these two nations had held firom 
very early times the most distinguished place in Greece, the 
one being a Pelasgic the other a Hellenic people, and the one 
having never quitted its original seats, while the other had 
been excessively migratory ; for during the reign of Deucalion, 
Phthiotis was the country in which the Hellenes dwelt, but 
under Dorus, the son of Hellen, they moved to the tract at 
the base of Ossa and Olympus, which is called Histiaotis ; 
forced to retire from that region by the Cadmeians,® they 

7 The Hermns is the modem Kodus 
or Qhiediz Chax, which rises in the 
Morad mountains and runs into the 
sea near Smyrna. Sardis was till 
recently a villaf^ known as Sart ; bat 
M. Texier declares that there is now 
no place of the name (Asie Mineare, 
Yol. iii. p. 17). It was situated in the 
Talley of the Hermns, at the point 
where the Pftot61iis, a brook descend- 
ing from Tmdlns, joined the great 

* The Cadmeiang were the Greeco- 

Phopnician race (their name' merely 
signifying "the Easterns**), who in 
the ante-Trojan times, occupied the 
country which was afterwards called 
Bceotia. Hence the Greek tragedians, 
in plays of which ancient Thebes is 
the scene (JEsch, Sept. o. Theb. 
Sophocl. (Ed. R. and Antig. Eurip. 
Phoeniss.), invariably speak of the 
Thcbans as KoS^cTot, Ka!6fitTos \tAs, 
The Bcootians of Am^ in Thessaly ex- 
pelled the Cadmeians from the rf^on 
historically known as Boeotia, some 

Chaf. 6&-67. 



settled, under the name of Macedni, in the chain of Pindns. 
Hence they once more removed and came to Dryopis ; and 
from Dryopis having entered the Peloponnese* in this way, 
they became known as Dorians. 

57. What the language of the Pelasgi was I cannot say 
with any certainty. If, however, we may form a conjecture 
from the tongue spoken by the Pelasgi of the present day, — 
those, for, instance, who live at Creston above the Tyrrhenians,^ 
who formerly dwelt in the district named Thessaliotis, 
and were neighbours of the people now called the Dorians, — 
or those again who founded Placia and Scylac^ upon the 
Hellespont, who had previously dwelt for some time with the 
Athenians,* — or those, in short, of any other of the cities 
which have dropped the name but are in fact Pelasgian ; if, I 
say, we are to form a conjecture from any of these, we must 
pronounce that the Pelasgi spoke a barbarous language.^ If 

time (60 years) after the Trojan war 
(Thncyd, i. 12). The Cadmoians fled 
in Tarioiu directions. They are found 
at Athens (infr. ▼. 57), at Sparta (inf. 
ir. 147), and in Asia Minor (inf. i. 
146). Some may have fled to His- 
tiiedtis, the north-western portion of 
Thessaly, a moontain tract watered by 
the head-streams of the Penons. Such 
regions were not so much coveted by 
the powerful invaders as the more 
fertile plains. 

* After many vain attempts to force 
an entrance by the way of the isthmus, 
they crossed the strait at Bhium, in 
conjunction with the ^tolians (Pans. 
▼. iii. 5, and Apollodorus, ii. viii. § 3). 

' Niebnhr (Hist, of Bome, i. p. 34, 
note 89) would read Kp6r9»im fur Kpri- 
arun here, and undertttand Croton or 
CSortona in Struria. It is certain that 
Diooyaius bo xead and understood (cf . 
Dionys. Ant. Bom. L 26, p. 69, Beiske). 
And the best MSS., Niebuhr observes, 
axe defective in this portion of Hero- 
dotus, BO that the fact that there is no 
variety of reading in the copies is of 
the less importance. Dahlmann (Life 
of Herod, ch. iv. p. 43, £. T.) and 
Bilhr (in loc.) oppose this view, and 
maintain the reading K^arw^a, There 
certainly were Crestonians, and they 

dwelling in the vicinity of Tyrrhe- 
nians too, in the tract sometimes called 
Mygdonia (vide Thucyd. iv. 109). But 
these Tyrrhenians were themselves 
Pelasgi, as Thucydides declares in the 
passage, and so should have s{)oken 
the same language with the Cresto- 
nians. Niebuhr denies that there was 
any city of Creston in these parts, but 
in this he contradicts Stephen (ad 
voc. Kfyfitrrwv). 

An insuperable objection to Nie- 
buhr' s theoiy is the assertion of Hero, 
dotus that the Pelasg^c people of whom 
he is speaking " formerly dwelt in the 
district named Thessalidtis, and were 
neighbours of the Dorians." Ue 
could not possibly intend to speak so 
positively of the particular part of 
Greece in which the Pelasgic popula- 
tion of Etruria lived before thoy occu- 
pied Italy, an event probably anterior 
to the names Thessalidtis and Dorians. 

* Vide infra, vi. 137. Thucyd. iv. 
109. Pausanias, i. 28. On the migra- 
tious of the Pelasgi, their language, 
and ethnic character, see the Essay 
appended to book vi. 

^ " The Pelasgiuns were a different 
nation from the Hellenes : their Ian- 
guage was peculiar, and not Greek: 
thid assertion, however, must not be 

1 82 


Book L 

this were reaUy so, and the entire Pelasgic race spoke the 
same tongue, the Athenians, who were certainly Pelasgi, must 
have changed their language at the same time that they 
passed into the Hellenic body ; for it is a certain fact that the 
people of Crcston s^peok a language milike any of their neigh- 
bours, and the same is true of the Placianians, while the 
language spoken by these two people is the same ; which 
shows that they both retain the idiom which they brought 
with them into the countries where they arc now settled. 

58. The Hellenic race has never, since its first origin, 
changed its speech. This at least seems evident to me. It 
was a branch of the Pelasgic, which separated from the main 
body,* and at first was scanty in numbers and of little power ; 
but it gradually spread and increased to a multitude of 
nations, chiefly by the voluntary entrance into its ranks of 
numerous tribes of barbarians.* The Pelasgi, on the other 
hand, were, as I think, a barbarian race which never greatly 

59. On inquiring into the condition of these two nations, 
Croesus found that one, the Athenian, was in a state of 
grievous oppression and distraction under Pisistratus, the son 
of Hippocrates, who was at that time tyrant of Athens. Hip- 
pocrates, when he was a private citizen, is said to have gone 

stretched to imply a difference like 
that between the Greek and the 
niyrian or Thracian. Nations whose 
langnages were more nearly akin 
than the Latin and Greek, would still 
speak so as not to be mutually under, 
stood : and this is what Herodotus has 
in his eye." (Niebuhr's Bom. Hist, 
rol. i. p. 27.) 

* iiro«rx«<rdiy iarh rov UtkeurytKov. 
This is the term which Herodotus 
uses when he wislies to express the 
divergence of a branch stream from 
the main current of a river. Vide 
infra, iv. 56. 'Efi9ofu>s 84 r^f^s irora- 
fihs kwiirxiarai fi^p icrh rov Bopv 
904ptos, K, T. K. When the river divides 
into two or more equal channels, the 
▼arb used is the simple ax^CtaBcu, 

See ii. 17. trxlitreu rpi^wrias bhovs 
[6 NcIXos]. iv. 39. irx^CfTcu rek <rr6fiarra 
rov''larpov. The apftertion of Hero- 
dotus therefore is, that the Hellenes 
branched from the IV'lasgi. Neither 
the " separee des Pelaspes " of Larcher, 
nor tlio "dincretum 2t Pelapgico genero " 
of Schwcighocuser sufficiently ezpre£B 
this meaning. 

* Thucydides explains further, that 
the various tnl)es of Pelasgi became 
Hellenized by the voluntary placing 
of themFclves under Hellenic guid- 
ance, from a conviction of the benefit 
that would thereby accrue to them 
(Thucyd. i. 3. iirarfOiUpv¥ ainohs ^»* 
io^Ki^ is ras &AAas w6X€is, Koff ktcaarovs 
ff8i| rp 6/uAlf yuoAAoy jcaXcilr6ai*RAAi|i>as). 


once npon a time to Olyinpia to see the games, when a 
wonderful prodigy happened to him. As he was employed in 
sacrificing, the cauldrons which stood near, full of water and 
of the flesh of the victims, began to boil without the help of 
fire, BO that the water overflowed the pots. Chilon the 
Lacedaemonian, who happened to be there and to witness the 
prodigy, advised Hippocrates, if he were unmarried, never to 
take into his house a wife who could bear him a child ; if he 
already had one, to send her back to her friends ; if he had a 
son, to disown him. Chilon's advice did not at all please 
Hippocrates, who disregarded it, and some time after became 
the father of Pisistratus. This Pisistratus, at a time when 
there was civil contention in Attica between the party of the 
Sea-coast headed by Megacles the son of Alcmaeon, and that 
of the Plain headed by Lycurgus, one of the Aristolaids, 
formed the project of making himself tyrant, and with this 
view created a third party.® Gathering together a band of 
partisans, and giving himself out for the protector of the 
Highlanders, he contrived the following stratagem. He 
wounded himself and his mules, and then [drove his chariot 
into the market-place, professing to have just escaped an 
attack of his enemies, who had attempted his life as he was 
on his way into the country. He besought the people to 
assign him a guard to protect his person, reminding them of 
the glory which he had gained when he led the attack upon 
the Megarians, and took the town of Nissea,"^ at the same time 

* Tliere can be no doubt that these 
local factionB must also hare been po- 
litical parties. Indeed one of them, 
that of the HighhrndciB (6rcp^ioi), is 
identified hj Herodotns himself with 
the demns or Dcmocratical party. 
The two others are connected by Pln- 
tardi (Solon, c. 13), and on the grounds 
of probability, with the Oligarchical 

was sfiid to have distinguished him- 
self (Solon, c. 8), as having occurred 
before Solon's legislation, t.«. before 
B.C. 594. Mr. Grote justly observes 
that distinction gained five and thirty 
years before would have availed IMsis- 
tratus but little in the party conflicts 
of this period. The objection that he 
could not, when so young, bo said 

and the Ifoderate party. (See the i with any propriety to have captured 
EssajB appended to Book V. Essay ii.) 1 Nisa^ is not so well founded, for a 

' Plutarch mentions a war between 
Atbent and Ifegara, nnder the con. 
doci of fiolon, in which Pisistratns 

young officer may lead a storming 
party, or even command at the siege of 
a town not the chief object of the war, 

1 84 


Book I. 

performing many other exploits. The Athenians, deceived by 
his story, appointed him a band of citizens to serve as a 
guard, who were to carry clubs instead of spears, and to 
accompany him wherever he went. Thus strengthened, 
Pisistratus broke into revolt and seized the citadel. In this 
way he acquired the sovereignty of Athens, which he con- 
tinued to hold without disturbing the previously existing 
offices or altering any of the laws. He administered the 
state according to the established usages, and his arrange- 
ments were wise and salutary. 

60. However, after a little time, the partisans of Megacles 
and those of Lycurgus agreed to forget their differences, and 
united to drive him out. So Pisistratus, having by the means 
described first made himself master of Athens, lost his power 
again before it had time to take root. No sooner, however, 
was he departed than the factions which had driven him out 
quarrelled anew, and at last Megacles, wearied with the 
struggle, sent a herald to Pisistratus, with an oflfer to re- 
establish him on the throne if he would marry his daughter. 
Pisistratus consented, and on these terms an agreement was 
concluded between the two, after which they proceeded to 
devise the mode of his restoration. And here the device on 
which they hit was the silliest that I find on record, more 
especially considering that the Greeks have teen from very 
ancient times distinguished from the barbarians by superior 
sagacity and freedom from foolish simpleness, and remember- 
ing that the persons on whom this trick was played were not 
only Greeks but Athenians, who have the credit of surpassing 
all other Greeks in cleverness. There was in the PsBanian 
district a woman named Phya,^ whose height only fell short 

and in either case would be said to 
hsTe captured the place. The chief 
■oeoe of this war was Salamis. (See 
Jir. Gxote't historr, yoI. iii. p. 206, 

" It iiii roLLU^d that this Fhya was the 
lUu^bbor of a c^itun Boontes, and 
mafia a Urelihoud bj selliiig ohaplets, 

jet that she was afterwards married 
bj PisiBtratas to his son Hipparchns, 
which seems very improbable. (Seo 
Clitodem. Vt, 2k) 

-Mr. Grote has some jast remarks 
upon the obBcnrations with which Hero- 
dotns accompanies the story of Phya. 
It seems clear that the Greeks of tho 

Chap. 59-61. 



of four cubits by three fingers' breadth, and who was alto- 
gether comely to look upon. This woman they clothed 
in complete armour, and, instructing her as to the carriage 
which she was to maintain in order to beseem her part, they 
placed her in a chariot and drove to the city. Heralds had 
been sent forward to precede her, and to make proclamation 
to this effect : " Citizens of Athens, receive again Pisistratus 
with friendly minds. Minerva, who of all men honours him 
the most, herself conducts him back to her own citadel." 
This they proclaimed in all directions, and immediately the 
rumour spread throughout the country districts that Minerva 
was bringing back her favourite. They of the city also, 
fully persuaded that the woman was the veritable goddess, 
prostrated themselves before her, and received Pisistratus 

61. Pisistratus, having thus recovered the sovereignty, 
married, according to agreement, the daughter of Megacles. 
As, however, he had already a family of grown up sons, and 
the AlcmaBonidesB were supposed to be under a curse,^ he 
determined that there should be no issue of the marriage. 
His wife at first kept this matter to herself, but after a time, 
either her mother questioned her, or it may be that she told 
it of her own accord. At any rate, she informed her mother, 
and so it reached her father's ears. Megacles, indignant at 
receiving an affront from such a quarter, in his anger 

age of Pinsti&fciiB f nlly believed in the 
ocxaisioDal preflonce upon earth of the 
gods. Mr. Grote refers to the well- 
known appearance of the god Pan to 
Fhidippides a little before the battle 
of Ifarathon, which Herodotos him- 
self states to have been received as 
tme by the Athenians (vi. 105). He 
might have compared also the story of 
tlie gigantic phantom-wainor at Mara- 
thon who smote Epixelos with blind- 
ness as he passed by him to strike the* 
man at his side (Herod, vi. 117)i and 
that of the appearance of the two 
snperfaimuui boplites in the battle 

with the Persians at Delphi, whom the 
Delphians recognised for thoir local 
heroes, Phylacus and Autonoiis (viii. 

" Vide infra, v. 70-1; Thucyd. i. 126; 
Pint. Solon, c. 12. The curue rested 
on them upon acconnt of their treat, 
mont of the partisans of CyloiK The 
archon of the time, Megacles, not only 
broke faith with them after he had, 
by a pledge to spare their lives, in- 
duced them to leave the sacred pre- 
cinct of Minerva in the Acropolis, bnt 
also slew a number at the altar of the 

1 86 


Book I. 

instantly made up his differences with the opposite faction, on 
which Pisistratus, aware of what was planning against him, 
took himself out of the country. Arrived at Eretria, he held 
a council with his children to decide what was to be done. 
The opinion of Hippias prevailed, and it was agreed to aim 
at regaining the sovereignty. The first step was to obtain 
advances of money from such states as were imder obligations 
to them. By these means they collected large sums from 
several countries, especially from the Thebans, who gave them 
far more than any of the rest. To be brief, time passed, and 
all was at length got ready for their return. A band of Argive* 
mercenaries arrived from the Pelopormese, and a certain' 
Naxian named Lygdamis, who volunteered his services, was 
particularly zealous in the cause, supplying both men and 

62. In the eleventh year of their exile the family of 
Pisistratus set sail from Eretria on their return home. 
They made the coast of Attica, near Marathon, where they 
encamped, and were joined by their partisans from the capital 
and by numbers from the country districts, who loved tyranny 
better than freedom. At Athens, while Pisistratus was 
obtaining funds, and even after he landed at Marathon, no 
one paid any attention to his proceedings. When, however, 
it became known that he had left Marathon, and was marching 
upon the city, preparations were made for resistance, the 
whole force of the state was levied, and led against the 
returning exiles. Meantime the army of Pisistratus, which 
had broken up from Marathon, meeting their adversaries near 
the temple of the Pallenian Minerva,^ pitched their camp 
opposite them. Here a certain soothsayer^ Amphilytus by 

^ Fftlldn^ was a village of Attica, 
near Gargettus, which is the modem 
Qaritd (Leake, Demi of Attica, p. 45). 
It was famous for its temple of Mi- 
nerva, which was of such magnificence 
ma to be made the subject of a special 
fcreatise by Themison, whose book, en- 

titled PalleniSf is mentioned by Atho- 
na>U8 (vi. 6, p. 235). The exact site of 
the ancient village seems to bo a place 
about 14 miles south-west of Garitd, 
where there are extensive remains 
(Leake, ibid.). 

CHiLP. 61.63. 



name, an Acamanian,' moved by a divine impulse, came into 
the presence of Fisistratus, and approaching him uttered this 
prophecy in the hexameter measure : — 

" Now has the cast been made, the net is out-spread in the vrater, 
Through the moonshiny night the tunnies will enter the meshes/' 

68. Such was the prophecy uttered imder a divine inspira- 
tion. Pisistratus, apprehending its meaning, declared that 
he accepted the oracle, and instantly led on his army. The 
Athenians from the city had just finished their midday meal, 
after which they had betaken themselves, some to dice, others 
to sleep, when Pisistratus with his troops fell upon them and 
put them to the rout. As soon as the flight began, Pisistratus 
bethought himself of a most wise contrivance, whereby the 
Athenians might be induced to disperse and not unite in a 
body any more. He mounted his sons on horseback and 
sent them on in front to overtake the fugitives, and exhort 
them to be of good cheer, and return each man to his home. 
The Athenians took the advice, and Pisistratus became for 
the third time master of Athens.^ 

'Valckenaer proposed to read 6 
'Axappwhs (Ionic form of 'Axaprths) the 
Aehamianf for 6 'AirapWbr, the Acama- 
nian. Larcher argued in favour of 
this reading, while Grronovius con- 
sidered that 6 Axof^ might have the 
meaning of " the Achamian." So too 
ScliweighsBUser, who renders " Acar- 
nan, «w potius Aehamensis" The 
Ticinity of Acharnffi to Palldn^ is a 
circumstance of some weight on this 
side of the question. And it is cer- 
tain that FUto calls Amphilytus a 
compatriot (Theag. p. 124), and that 
Clement calls him an Athenian (Strom. 
I. i. p. 398). But on the other hand 
Acarnania was famous for soothsayers, 
especially at this period. It is only 
necessary to mention Megistias, the 
Acamanian soothsayer, atThermopylsB, 
and Hippomachus, the Leucadian (Lou- 
cas was on the coast of Acarnania) 
at Platsoa. (Vide infra, yii. 221, and 
ix. 38.) 

' Mr. Grote is of opinion that " the 
proceedings " throughout this struggle 

''hare altogether the air of a con. 
certed betrayal " (Hist, of Greece, vol. 
iv. p. 143.) Such, however, is clearly 
not the opinion of Herodotus. And as 
the AlciDooonidiB were undoubtedly at 
the head of afiEairs, and knew that they 
had nothing to hope, but everything 
to fear, from the Buccess of Pisistratus, 
it seems quite inconceivable that they 
should have voluntarily betrayed the 
state into his hands. It is prejudice 
to suppose that the popular party 
alone can never lose ground by its own 
fault, or without a betrayal. The fact 
seems to have been that at this time, 
before the weight of a tyranny had 
been felt, many, as Herodotus says, 
" loved tyranny better than freedom," 
and the mass were indifferent. Besides, 
Pisistratus was considered as in a 
great measure the champion of demo, 
cracy, and his return was looked on 
by his countrymen with much the 
same feelings as those wherewith the 
French regarded that of Napoleon 
from Elba in 1815. 



Book I. 

64. Upon this he set himself to root his power more firmly, 
by the aid of a numerous body of mercenaries, and by keeping 
up a full exchequer, partly supplied from native sources, partly 
from the countries about the river Strymon.* He also de- 
manded hostages from many of the Athenians who had 
remained at home, and not left Athens at his approach ; and 
these he sent to Naxos, which he had conquered by force of 
arms, and given over into the charge of Lygdamis.^ Farther, 
he purified the island of the Delos, according to the injunc- 
tions of an oracle, after the following fashion. All the dead 
bodies which had been interred within sight of the temple 
he dug up, and removed to another part of the isle.* Thus 
was the tyranny of Pisistratus established at Athens, many of 
the Athenians having fallen in the battle, and many others 
having fled the country together with the son of AlcmaBon. 

^ Tho rcvonncB of Pisistratos wcro 
derived in part fn)in the income-tax of 
five per cent, wliicli he levied from his 
subjocttt (Thucyd. vi. 54. *ABriyaiovs 
uKtHrriiy vpcunrifityoi tup yiyyofitywy), 
in part probably from the Hilvcr-mines 
at Laiipum, which a little later were 
80 remarkably productive (Ucrod. vii. 
144). He luid al»o a third souroo of 
revenue, of which UcrodotuH here 
Bpeaka, consiBting appan^ntly either of 
lands or mines lying near tho Strymon, 
and belonging to him probably in his 
private capacity. That part of Thrace 
was famous for its gold and silver mines 
(infr. V. 17, 23, vi. '46 ; Thucyd. iv. 105 ; 
Strab. vii. p. 481). Mr. Groto has, I 
think, mistaken tho meaning of this 
passage (vol. iv. p. 145, note ^). 
*' Hen>dotus," he says, ** tells us that 
Pisi stratus brought mercenary soldiers 
from the Strymon, but that he levied 
the money to pay them in Attica : 
ifpi(u(rt rijy rvpayylSa hriKoipotvl re 
iroXAouri, jcal x^t*^"^^^ (rvy6toi<ri^ r&y 
fi^y oin60ty^ rwy Hk inrh 'Xrpifioyos irora- 
fMv ffvytdyruy" The arguments by 
which he defends his translation (vol. 
vii App. pp. 568, 569, 3rd Edition) seem 
to me beside the point. Tho fjenitive, 
TNT . . wmAm^v^ cannot possibly refer 

to the daiive iiriKodpoitrt. 

* It is diflicult to reconcile this ac- 
count of the establishment of Lyg- 
damis in Nuxos with the statements 
of Aristotle on the subject. According 
to Aristotle, the revolution which 
placed him upon the tlirone was of 
home growth, and scarcely admitted 
of the interference of a foreigner. 
Telcstagoras, a man beloved by the 
common ])cople, had boon grossly 
injured and insulted by some youths 
belonging to the oligarchy which then 
ruled Naxos. A general outbreak was 
the consequence, and the common 
people under Lygrlamis, who though 
by birth an aristocrat, placed himself 
at their head, overcame the oligarchy, 
and made Lygdamis king. (See tho 
Fragments of Aristotlo in Midler's 
Frag. Hist. Gr. vol. ii. p. 155, Fr. 168, 
and compare Arist. Tol. V. v. § 1). 
It is of course quite possible that 
Pisistratus may have lent Lygdamia 
some aid ; but if we accept Aristotle's 
account, which seems too circum- 
stantial to be false, we must consider 
Uerodotus to have been altogether 
mistaken in his view of tho matter. 

^ Comparo Thucyd. iiL 104. 




66. Snch was the condition of the Athenians when Croesus 
made inquiry concerning them J Proceeding to seek informa- 
tion concerning the Lacedsemonians, he learnt that, after 
passing through a period of great depression, they had lately 
been victorious in a war with the people of Tegea ; for, during 
the joint reign of Leo and Agasicles, kings of Sparta, the 
LacedsBmonians, ''successful in all their other wars, suffered 
continual defeat at the hands of the Tegeans. At a still 
earlier period they had been the very worst governed people 
in Greece, as well in matters of internal management as in 
their relations towards foreigners, from whom they kept 
entirely aloof. The circumstances which led to their being 
well-governed were the following : — Lycurgus, a man of dis- 
tinction among the Spartans, had gone to Delphi, to visit the 
oracle. Scarcely had he entered into the inner fane, when 
the Pythoness exclaimed aloud, 

" Oh ! thon g^at LjcnrgnB, tbat ooxn*8t to my beantif nl dwelling, 
Dear to Jore, and to all who sit in the halla of OlTmpns, 
Whether to hail thee a god I know not, or only a mortal, 
But my hope is strong l^t a god thou wilt prove, Lycorg^." 

Some report besides, that the Pythoness delivered to him the 
entire system of laws which are still observed by the Spartans. 
The Lacedaemonians, however, themselves assert that Ly- 
curgus, when he was guardian of his nephew, Labotas,^ king of 
Sparta, and regent in his room, introduced them from Crete ; * 

^ The embassy of Croesns cannot pos- 
sibly have been sabseqnent to the 
final establishment of Pisistratna at 
Athens, which was in b.c. 542 at the 
earliest. (See Glinton*s F. H., vol. ii. 
pp. 252-4.) It probably oconrred 
during his first term of power. 

* Since Labotas was, in all proba- 
hflity, noways related to Lycorgos, 
being of the other royal house, and 
Jjyciugaa is said by Aristotle (Pol it. 
II. Tii. { 2) and most ancient writers 
to hare been regent for Charilafis, it 
has been proposed (Marsham, Can. 
ChroD. p. 428) to read — ^Avjcovpyor 

Larchor approves of this emendation, 
and traoBlatos aocordingly. Clinton 
also is satisfied with it. (F. H. vol. i. 
p. 141, noto^.) But in tho first placo 
the reading in Herodotus is at least as 
old as Pansanias, who says, " Hero- 
dotns in his discourse of Croesus asserts 
that Labotas in his boyhood had for 
guardian Lycurgns the lawgiver." 
(Pans. III. ii. § 3). And secondly, the 
alteration would not remove the diffi- 
culty. For Labotas was dead seventy 
years before Charilails mounted the 
throne. The truth seems to be that 
Herodotus has simply made a mis- 

' Aristotle was of this opinion (Polit. 



Book I. 

for as soon as he became regent, he altered the whole of the 
existing customs, substituting new ones, which he took care 
should be observed by all. After this he arranged whatever 
appertained to war, establishing the Enomotiaa, Triacades, and 
Syssitia,^ besides which he instituted the senate,* and the 
ephoralty.® Such was the way in which the Lacedaemonians 
became a well-governed people. 

66. On the death of Lycurgus they built him a temple, and 
ever since they have worshipped him with the utmost rever- 
Their soil being good and the population numerous, 


II. vii. § 1). jcol yitp Hoiict leal X^c- 
rai 8i T& irXctaTa /iicftift^<r0ai r^y 
Kpirrifd^r iroXirc^oi' ^ rwv lauciLimv . . . 
jcol ykp rbv Avirovp7oy, trt r^v ifrvrpo- 
wtloM riiy XaptKdov rmi fi<un\4us KteraXi- 
ititv &irc8^/yii7(rc, t<(tc rhw trXtTtrrop dio- 
rpl^^cu xp^i^oy irtpl riiw Kp^|rf|l^. 

^ That tho irwuorUu wero divisions 
of the Spartan cohort (k6xos) is proved 
by the concurrent testimony of Thncy- 
didos (v. 68) and Xenophon (Hol)en. 
VI. iv. § 12 ; Rep. Lac. xi. § 4). Thnoy- 
dides Bays Die \6xos contained four 
pent€co8tyes and 612 men, tho pento- 
cofltys four cnomoties* and 128 men. 
Xenophon gives bnt two pentocostyes 
to tho x6xoSf and two enomoties to the 
pentecostys. It is probable that tho 
iSpartans had changed the organization 
of their army during tho interval. Tho 
word ^vw/torta implies that its members 
were bound together by a common 
ooth. Cf. Hesych. in voc. ivvfioria — 

Of the Tpt^KdZts nothing seems to bo 
known. They may have been also 
divisions of the army — bat divisions 
confined to the camp, not existing in 
the field. 

The word owrtrtria would seem in 
this place not to have its ordinary 
signification, *' common meals " or 
" meiwes/' bnt to be applied to the ** set 
of persons who wero appointed to 
mess together." In Sparta itself, each 
<*mess" usually consisted of 15 persons. 
This was probably tho case also in tho 
camp, civil and military arrangements 
in Sparta being mixed np inseparably. 

If so, tho rptij/c&f may have contained 
two messes. 

' It is quite inconceivable that 
Lycnrgns shonld in any sense have 
instituted the senate. If it ever comes 
to pass in a monarchy that tho oonncil 
of tho nobles ceases to be a power in 
the state, it does not owe its re-estab. 
lishnient to royal, or guo^i-royal an- 
thority. Nothing loss than a revoln- 
tion can recover it. Compare the his- 
tory of Rome under the last Tarquin. 
Lycurgus appears to have made 
scarcely any changes in the constitu- 
tion. 'What ho did was to alter the 
cnAtoms and habits of the people. 
With regard to tho senate, its institu- 
tion was primitive, and we can scarcely 
imagine that it had ever dropped out 
of use. As, however, the whole Spar- 
tan constitution was considered to be 
tho work of Lycurgus, all its parts 
came by degrees to be assigned to him. 

' The institution of the Ephoralty 
is ascribed to Lycurgus by Xenophon 
(Do Rep. Laced, viii. 3), Satyms (ap. 
Diog. Laert. i. 68), and the author of 
the letters ascribed to Plato (Ep. viii.). 
Plutarch (Lycurg. c. 7), and Aristotle 
(Polit. V. 9, § 1) assign it to Theo- 
pompus. These conflicting statements 
are best reconciled by considering that 
the ephors existed as a nu^straoy at 
least from the time of Lycurgus, bat 
obtained an entirely new position in 
the reign of Theopompus. (Cf. Thirl- 
walls Hist, of Greece, vol. i. p. SM, 
and see the Essays appended to Book 
y. Essay i.) 

Chap. 85-07. 



they sprang up rapidly to power, and became a flourishing 
people. In consequence they soon ceased to be satisfied to 
stay quiet ; and, regarding the Arcadians as very much their 
inferiors, they sent to consult the oracle about conquering the 
whole of Arcadia. The Pythoness thus answered them : — 

" Crayeflt thoa Arcady P Bold is thy Graying. I shall not content it. 
Many the men that in Arcady dwell, whose food is the acorn — 
They will never allow thee. It is not I that am niggard. 
I wUl gire thee to dance in Tegea, with noisy foot-fall. 
And with the measuring line mete out the glorious ohampaig^." 

When the Lacedaemonians received this reply, leaving the rest 
of Arcadia untouched, they marched against the Tegeans, 
carrying with them fetters, so confident had this oracle (which 
was, in truth, but of base metal) made them that they would 
enslave the Tegeans. The battle, however, went against them, 
and many fell into the enemy's hands. Then these persons, 
wearing the fetters which they had themselves brought, and 
fastened together in a string, measured the Tegean plain as 
they executed their labours. The fetters in which they worked, 
were stiU, in my day, preserved at Tegea, where they hung 
round the walls of the temple of Minerva Alea.* 

67. Throughout the whole of this early contest with the 
Tegeans, the Lacedaemonians met with nothing but defeats ; 
but in the time of Croesus, under the kings Anaxandrides and 
Aristo, fortune had turned in their favour, in the manner which 
I will now relate. Having been worsted in every engagement 
by their enemy, they sent to Delphi, and inquired of the oracle 
what god they must propitiate to prevail in^|^war against 
the Tegeans. The answer of the Fythone||^l^, that before 
they could prevail, they must remove^Jiparta the bones of 
Orestes, the son of Agamemnon.* ^OEable to discover his 

' ^MinerraAlea was an Arcadian god- 
dew. She was worshipped at Man. 
tinea, Manthyrea, and Alea, as well as 
at Tegea. Her temple at Tegea was 
particularly magnificent. S ee the 
description in Paosanias (Vlll. xlvii. 
1 1-2) . The name Alea does not appear 
to be a local appellatiyei like Assesia 

(supra, eh. 19), Palldnis (oh. 62), &o,, 
but rather a title, signifying 'pro- 
tectress' — ^lit. "she who gives escape.^* 
* Compare the removal of the bones 
of Tisamenns from Hclic^ to Sparta 
(Pansan. vii. i. § 3) ; of Theseus from 
Scyros to Athens (ib. 11 1. iii. § 6) ; of 
Bhesus from the plain of Ti'oy to Am- 



Book I. 

burial-place, they sent a second time, and asked the god 
where the body of the hero had been laid. The following 
was the answer they received : — 

" Level and smcx)th is the plain where Arcadian Tegea standeth ; 
There two winds are ever, by strong necessity, blowing, 
Counter-stroke answers stroke, and evil lies upon evil. 
There all-teeming Earth doth harbonr the son of Atrides ; 
Bring then him to thy city, and then be Tcgoa*8 master." 

After this reply, the Lacedaemonians were no nearer discover- 
ing the burial-place than before, though they continued to 
search for it diligently; until at last a man named Lichas, 
one of the Spartans called Agathoergi, found it. The Aga- 
thoergi are citizens who have just served their time among 
the knights. The five eldest of the knights go out every year, 
and are bound during the year after their discharge to go 
wherever the State sends them, and actively employ them- 
selves in its service.* 

68. Lichas was one of this body when, partly by good 
luck, partly by his own wisdom, he discovered the burial- 
place. Intercourse between the two States existing just at 
this time, he went to Tegea, and, happening to enter into the 
workshop of a smith, he saw him forging some iron. As he 
stood marvelling at what he beheld,'' he was observed by the 
smith who, leaving off his work, went up to him and said, — 

phipolis (Polycen. Stratcg. vi. 53) ; and 
of Alcmena from Ualiartns to Sparta 
(Pint, do Socr. Gen. p. 677, E.). 

• It is difficnlt to reconcile this pas- 
sage with the statement of Xenoplion 
conooming the mode of election of the 
knights (De Kep. Laced, iv. 3). Xeno- 
phon says the ophors choose three iir- 
irayp4rat, who each selected a hundred 
yonths, which seems at first sight 
to imply that the whole body of the 
knights was renewed annually. It is 
impossible to suppose that no more 
than five retired each year. Such an 
arrangement would have soon made 
the knights a body of old men. Pos- 
sibly the Ephors of each year appointed 
Hippagretee who drew out the list of 
knights afresh, having power to scratch 

off the roll such as they thought un- 
worthy, and to place others upon it, 
the five senior members only being 
incapable of re-appointment. Tho 
greater number of the knights would 
usually be re-appointed, but besides 
the five eldest who necessarily retired, 
tho HippagretsB would omit any whom 
they thought unfit for the service. 
All accounts agrrce in representing tho 
knights as the picked ymtth of Sparta. 
(Xcnoph. 1. s. c. Plutarch. Lye. c. 25. 
Eustath. ad II. 8. 23.) The substitu- 
tion of older men by Leonidas before 
Thermopylff) (infrd, vii. 205, and note 
ad Joe.) was exceptional. 

7 Herodotus means to represent 
that fho forging of iron was a novelty 
at the time. Brass was known to the 


"Certainly, then, you Spartan stranger, you would have been 
wonderfully surprised if you had seen what I have, since you 
make a marvel even of the working in iron. I wanted to make 
myself a well in this room, and began to dig it, when what 
think you? I came upon a coffin seven cubits long. I had 
never believed that men were taller in the olden times than 
they are now, so I opened the coffin. The body inside was of 
the same length : I measured it, and filled up the hole again." 

Such was the man's account of what he had seen. The 
other, on turning the matter over in his mind, conjectured 
that this was the body of Orestes, of which the oracle had 
spoken. He guessed so, because he observed that the smithy 
had two bellows, which he understood to be the two winds, 
and the hammer and anvil would do for the stroke and the 
counter-stroke, and the iron that was being wrought for the 
evil lying upon evil. This he imagined might be so because 
iron had been discovered to the hurt of man. Full of these 
conjectures, he sped back to Sparta and laid the whole matter 
before his countrymen. Soon after, by a concerted plan, they 
brought a charge against him, and began a prosecution. 
Lichas betook himself to Tegea, and on his arrival acquainted 
the smith with his misfortime, and proposed to rent his room 
of him. The smith refused for some time ; but at last Lichas 
persuaded him, and took up his abode in it. Then he opened 
the grave, and collecting the bones, returned with them to 
Sparta. From henceforth, whenever the Spartans and the 
Tegeans made trial of each other's skill in arms, the Spartans 
always had greatly the advantage ; and by the time to which 
we are now come they were masters of most of the Pelo- 

69. Grcesus, informed of all these circumstances, sent mes- 

GreekB before iron, as the Homeric 
poeniB raflBoientlj indicate. Gf. also 
Henod. Op. et Dies, 150-1. 

VOL. I. 

and Lucretius, 

"Prior teris qoAm ferri coenltiui nstu" Cr* 

HcDce smithies were termed xa\jrcia, 
XoAx^ia, as in this instance, and smiths 




sengers to Sparta, with gifts in their hands, who were to ask 
the Spartans to enter into alliance with him. They received 
strict injunctions as to what they should say, and on their 
arrival at Sparta spake as follows : — 

" Croesus, king of the Lydians and of other nations, has 
sent us to speak thus to you : * Oh ! Lacedaemonians, the 
god has bidden me to make the Greek my friend ; I therefore 
apply to you, in conformity with the oracle, knowing that you 
hold the first rank in Greece, and desire to become your fiiend 
and ally in all true faith and honesty.' " 

Such was the message which Croesus sent by his heralds. 
The Lacedffimonians, who were aware beforehand of the reply 
given liim by the oracle, were full of joy at the coming of the 
messengers, and at once took the oaths of friendship and 
aUiance: this they did the more readily as they had pre- 
viously contracted certain obligations towards him. They had 
sent to Sardis on one occasion to purchase some gold, intend- 
ing to use it on a statue of Apollo — the statue, namely, which 
remains to this day at Tliornax in Laconia,® when Croesus, 
hearing of the matter, gave them as a gift the gold which 
they wanted. 

70. This was one reason why the Lacedaemonians were so 
willing to make the alliance: another was, because Croesus 
had chosen them for his fiiends in preference to all the other 
Greeks. They therefore held themselves in readiness to corned 
at his summons, and not content ydth so doing, they furtEer^ 
had a huge vase made in bronze, covered with figures of 

^ Pansanias declares that the gold 
obtained of Croesus by the Lacedod- 
monians was used in fact upon a 
statuo of Apollo at Amy clso (iii. z. 

klO). Larchcr, and Siebelis (ad 
usan. 1. s. c.) remark that this does 
not in reality contradict Herodotus, 
since he only states the intention of 
the Spartons, which Ftemniiis recog- 
tiiflOBj wUUe the latter gives in addi- 
tion their act. 
This id mo donlot irue. But Cbe Aame 

explanation cannot bo given of the 
passage of Theopompus (Fr. 219.), 
-which distinctly assorts that the 
original object of the Laceda;monian8 
was to buy gold for the Amycleoan 
statue. One interesting fact is learnt 
from this writer, viz. : that the gold 
was used to cover the face of the 
statue, which was of colossal size, 46 
feet IiiL.'-li, according to Pausanias (iii. 
xiJC. g 2). 


animalB all round the outside of the rim, and large enough 
to contain three hundred amphorae, which they sent to Croesus 
as a return for his presents to them. The vase, however, 
never reached Sardis. Its miscarriage is accounted for in two 
quite different ways. The Lacedaemonian story is, that when 
it reached Samos, on its way towards Sardis, the Samians 
having knowledge of it, put to sea in their ships of war and 
made it their prize. But the Samians declare, that the Lace- 
daemonians who had the vase in charge, happening to arrive 
too late, and learning that Sardis had fallen and that Croesus 
was a prisoner, sold it in their island, and the purchasers 
(who were, they say, private persons) made an offering of it 
at the shrine of Juno : • the sellers were very likely on their 
return to Sparta to have said that they had been robbed of it 
by the Samians. Such, then, was the fate of the vase. 

71. Meanwhile Croesus, taking the oracle in a wrong sense, 
led his forces into Cappadocia, fully expecting to defeat Cyrus 
and destroy the empire of the Persians. While he was still 
engaged in making preparations for his attack, a Lydian 
named Sandanis, who had always been looked upon as a 
wise man, but who after this obtained a very great name 
indeed among his countrymen, came forward and counselled 
the king in these words : — 

" Thou art about, oh ! king, to make war against men who 
wear leathern trousers, and have all their other garments of 
leather ; ^ who feed not on what they like, but on what they 
can get from a soil that is sterile and unkindly ; who do not 
indulge in wine, but drink water; who possess no figs nor 
anything else that is good to eat. If, then, thou conquerest 
them, what canst thou get from them, seeing that they have 
nothing at all ? But if they conquer thee, consider how much 
that is precious thou wilt lose : if they once get a taste of our 
pleasant things, they will keep such hold of them that we 
shall never be able to make them loose their grasp. For my 

* Vide iniia, ii. 182. 

^ For a deiicription of the Persian dress, see note on ch. 135. 




part, I am thankful to the gods, that they have not put it into 
the hearts of the Persians to invade Lydia." 

Croesus was not persuaded by this speech, though it was 
true enough ; for before the conquest of Lydia, the Persians 
possessed none of the luxuries or delights of life. 

72. The Cappadocians are known to the Greeks by the 
name of Syrians.^ Before the rise of the Persian power, they 
had been subject to the Medes ; but at the present time they 
were within the empire of Cyrus, for the boundary between 
the Median and the Lydian empires was the river Halys. 
This stream, which rises in the mountain country of Armenia, 
runs first through Cilicia ; afterwards it flows for a while with 
the Matieni on the right, and the Phrygians on the left : then, 
when they are passed, it proceeds with a northern course, 
separating the Cappadocian Syrians from the Paphlagonians, 
who occupy the left bank, thus forming the boundary of 
almost the whole of Lower Asia, from the sea opposite Cyprus 
to the Euxine. Just there is the neck of the peninsula, a 
journey of five days across for an active walker.® 

• Vide infra, vii. 72. The Cappa- 
docians of HerodotoB inhabit the 
ooantiy bounded by the Emdne on 
the north, the Halya on the west, the 
Armenians apparently on the east 
(from whom the Cappadocians are 
clearly distinguished, vii. 72-3), and 
the Matieni on the south. 

It has been usual to consider the 
fact that the Cappadocians were 
always called Syrians by the Greeks 
(supra, ch. 6, infra, vii. 72 ; Strab. 
idL p. 788 ; Dionys. Perieg. ver. 772 ; 
Soylax. p. 80; Ptol. v. 6; Apollon. 
Bhod. ii. 946 ; Eustath. ad Dion. Per.) 
as almost indisputable eridence of 
their being a Semitic race. (Prichard's 
zesearches into the Phys. Hist, of 
Mankind, toI. iii. p. 561 ; Bunsen's 
Philosophy of Univ. Hist. vol. ii. p. 
10.) But there are strong grounds 
for questioning this conclusion. See 
the Critical Essays, Essay zi.. On the 
Ethnic Affinities of the Nations of 
Western Asia. 

In the Persian inscriptions Cappado- 
cia is mentioned under the name of 
Katapatuka, and appeared to be as- 
signed wider limits than those given 
in Herodotus. (See Col. Rawlinson's 
Memoir on the Behistun Inscription. 
Vol. n. p. 95.) No countries are 
named between Armenia and Ionia 
but Cappadocia and Saparda, which 
together fill up the whole of Asia 
Minor except the western coast. See 
the throe enumerations of the Persian 
provinces in the inscriptions of Darius 
(pages 107, 280, and 294 of the first 
volume of Col. Rawlinson's Memoir), 
and compare the notes on the Baby- 
lonian text (vol. iii. p. xix.). 

' Herodotus tells us in one place 
(iv. 101) that he reckons the day*8 
journey at 200 stadia, that is at about 
23 of our miles. If we regard this as 
the measm'e intended here, we must 
consider that Herodotus imagined the 
isthmus of Natolia to be but 115 miles 
across, 165 miles short of the truth. 

Chap. 71-78. 



78. There were two motives which led Croesus to attack 
Cappadocia : firstly, he coveted the land, which he wished to 
add to his own dominions ; but the chief reason was, that he 
wanted to revenge on Cyrus the wrongs of Astyages, and was 
made confident by the oracle of being able so to do : for the 
Astyages, son of Cyaxares and king of the Medes, who had 
been dethroned by Cyrus, son of Cambyses, was Croesus' 
brother by marriage. This marriage had taken place under 
circumstances which I will now relate. A band of Scythian 
nomads, who had left their own land on occasion of some 
disturbance, had taken refuge in Media. Cyaxares, son of 
Fhraortes, and grandson of Dei'oces, was at that time king of 
the country. Becognising them as suppUants, he began by 

It xniiBt be observed, howerer, that the 
ordinaiy day's jonmey cannot be in- 
tended by the SSiks tb(tiv^ iufUpi. 
The Mip €li(uvos is not the mere 
common traveUer. He is the lightly 
equipped pedestrian, and his day's 
joomey must be estimated at some- 
thing considerably above 200 stadia. 
Major Bennel, in his comments on 
the passage (GJeogr. of Herod, p. 190)| 
made an aUowanoe on this acoonnt, 
and reckoned the day's jonmey of the 
"active walker" at about 30 miles. 
Even thns, however, the error of 
HerodofcuB remained very considerable 
—a mistake of 130, instead of 165, 
milee. Dahlmann (Life ' of Herod., 
pp. 72^ £. T.) endeavours to vindi. 
oate Herodotus from having erred at 
alL He remarks that the story of 
Fhidippides (Herod, vi. 106) proves 
that this trained runners (4ifi9poip6fioi) 
of the period could travel from 50 
to 60 miles a day, and supposes 
Herodotus to allude to certain Imown 
oases in which the isthmus had been 
traversed in five days. But (1) it 
dose not seem correct to regard the 
Mip ^m¥os aa the same with the 
4#i^M8p^f, and (2) Herodotus ap- 
pean to speak not of any particular 
case or cases, but generally of all 
lightly equipped pedestrians. Ho 
cannot thmfore be rightly regarded 

as free from mistake in the matter. 
Probably he considered the isthmus 
at least 100 miles narrower than it 
really is. 

It renders such a mistake the less 
surprising to find that Pliny, after all 
the additional information derived 
from the expedition of Alexander and 
the Roman occupation, estimated the 
distance at no more than 200 Boman, 
or less than 190 British miles. (Plin. 
vi. 2.) 

[The day's journey of Herodotus, 
mentioned in iv. 101, refers to the 
regular caravan stage performed by 
loaded camels or mules, and is cor. 
rectly enough estimated at 200 Olym. 
pic stadia. The average length of 
such a stage at the present day is 
6 farsakhs, or about 224 English miles. 
The yifi€po9p6fu>f, on the other hand, is 
to be compared to the K&sid, or foot- 
messenger of the present day, who in 
fine weather, and over a tolerably 
easy country, ought to accomplish 50 
miles per dUem. It may be doubted, 
however, considering the rough char- 
acter of the range of Taurus and its 
branches, if the most active Eisid 
could pass from Tarsus on the Medi- 
terranean to Samsoon on the Euxine 
— estimated by Eratosthenes (Strab. 
ii. 1) at 3000 stadia— in less than 10 
days.— H. 0. B.] 



Book L 

treating them with kindness, and coming presently to esteem 
them highly, he intrusted to their care a number of boys, 
whom they were to teach their language and to instruct in 
the use of the bow. Time passed, and the Scythians em- 
ployed themselves, day after day, in hunting, and always 
brought home some game; but at last it chanced that one 
day they took nothing. On their return to Cyaxares with 
empty hands, that monarch, who was hot-tempered, as he 
showed upon the occasion, received them very rudely and 
insultingly. In consequence of this treatment, which they 
did not conceive themselves to have deserved, the Scythians 
determined to take one of the boys whom they had in charge, 
cut him in pieces, and then dressing the flesh as they were 
wont to dress that of the wild animals, serve it up to Cyaxares 
as game : after which they resolved to convey themselves with 
all speed to Sardis, to the court of Alyattes, the son of Sady- 
attes. The plan was carried out: Cyaxares and his guests 
ate of the flesh prepared by the Scythians, and they them- 
selves, having accomplished their purpose, fled to Alyattes in 
the guise of suppliants. 

74. Afterwards, on the refusal of Alyattes to give up his 
suppliants when Cyaxares sent to demand them of him, 
war broke out* between the Lydians and the Medes, and 
continued for five years, with various success. In the course 
of it the Medes gained many victories over the Lydians, and 
the Lydians also gained many victories over the Medes. 
Among their other battles there was one night engagement. 
As, however, the balance had not inclined in favour of 

^ Mr. Grote remarks that ** the pas. 
sage of nomadic hordes from one 
government in the East to another 
hae been always, and is even down to 
the present daj, a frequent cause of 
dispate between the different govern, 
xnents : they are valuable l^th aa 
tribataries and as soldiers." And he 
proceeds to give instances (vol. iii. 
p. 810, note 1). But one cannot but ens- 

peot the whole story to be either pure 
invention, or a distorted representation 
of the fact, that some of the Scythians 
whom Cyaxares had ezpoUed from 
Media fled westward and took service 
with the Lydian king. (Sec the sub. 
ject discussed in the Essay 'On the 
Early Chronology and History of 

Chap. 78, 74. 



either nation, another combat took place in the sixth year, 
in the conrse of which, just as the battle was growing warm, 
day was on a sudden changed into night. This event had 
been foretold by Thales, the Milesian, who forewarned the 
lonians of it, fixing for it the very year in which it actually 
took place.'^ The Medes and Lydians, when they observed 
the change, ceased fighting, and were alike anxious to have 
terms of peace agreed on. Syennesis* of CiUcia,^ and 

' YvnouM years hare been assigned 
as the troe date of this eclipse. 
Among the ancients, Plinj (11. xii.) 
placed it OL 48. 4 (b.c. 684), Clemens 
Alezandrinns (Stromat. i. p. 854) in 
01. 50. 1 (B.C. 579). Of modems, 
Vokiey inclines to B.C. 625, Bonhier 
and Larcher to B.C. 597, Mr. Clinton 
to B.C. 608, Ideler and Mr. Grote to 
B.C. 610, Des Vignoles and Mr. Boean- 
qnet to B.C. 585. Mr. Grote says 
thai "recent calcolations made by 
Oltmaans from the newest astronomi. 
oal tables, and more trostworthy than 
the calcolations which preceded, have 
ahown that the eclipse of 610 b.c. 
fulfils the condi<(ions required, and that 
the other eclipses do not" (Grote's 
Hist, of Greece, vol. iii. p. 312, note). 
Mr. Bosanqnet (Fall of Nineveh, p. 
14) depends on the still more recent 
calcolations of Mr. Hind and Professor 

ThBt Thales predicted this eclipse 
was asserted by Aristotle's disciple, 
Sodemns (Clem. Alex. 1. s. c), as 
also br Cic. (de Div. i. 49) and Pliny 
(ii. 12). Another prediction is ascribed 
to him by Aristotle himself (Polit. i. 
T.), that of a good olive-crop. A third 
bj Nioolas of Damascus (p. 68, 
QreDi). Anazagoras was said to have 
foretold the fall of an aerolite (Arist. 
Meteoitd. i. 7). 

[The prediction of this eclipse by 
Tbilea may fairly be classed with the 
prediction of a good olive-crop or of 
the fsll of an aerolite. Thales, indeed, 
coold only have obtained the requisite 
knowledge for predicting eclipses 
from the ChaldsaEms, and that' the 
scienoeuf these astronomers, although 

sufficient for the investigation of 
lunar eclipses, did not enable them to 
calculate solar eclipses — dependent as 
such a calculation is, not only on the 
determination of the period of recur, 
rence, but on the true projection also 
of the track of the sun's shadow along 
a particular line over the surface of 
the earth — may be inferred from our 
finding that in the astronomical canon 
of Ptolemy, which was compiled from 
the Chaldsoan registers, the observa- 
tions of the moon's eclipse are alone 
entered.— H. C. B.] 

' The name Syennesis is common to 
all the kings of Cilicia mentioned in 
history. Vide infra, v. 118 ; vii. 98 ; 
Xenoph. Anab. i. ii. § 25; ^sohyl. 
Pers. 824. It has been supposed not 
to be really a name, but, like Pha- 
raoh, a title. Cf . B&hr in loo. 

[The Cuneiform inscriptions do not 
assist us in determining whether Syen- 
nesis was a title or a proper name. 
The only cuneiform name which has 
any resemblance to it is that of 8i^ni, 
who was king of Daydn, a province 
contiguous to Cilicia, under the first 
Tiglathpileser of Assyria, in about 
B.C. 1120. The kings of Cilicia men- 
tioned by the Greeks are of a much 
later date, being the respective con- 
temporaries of Cyaxares, Darius, 
Xerxes, and Artaxerxes Mnemon. — 
H. C. R.] 

7 Cilicia had become an independent 
state, either by the destruction of 
Assyria, or in the course of her de- 
dine after the reign of Esarhaddon. 
Previously, she had been included in 
the dominions of the Assyrian kings. 

[Cilicia is first mentioned in the 




Labynetus ^ of Babylon, were the persons who mediated between 
the parties, who hastened the taking of the oaths, and brought 
about the exchange of espousals. It was they who advised 

Crmeiform inscriptions abont b.c. 711, 
8argon, in the ninth year of his reign, 
having sent an expedition against 
AmhriSy the son of KhuliyOf who was 
hereditary chief of Tvhal (the southern 
slopes of TanmH), and upon whom the 
Assyrian monarch is said at an earlier 
period to have bestowed the country 
of Oilicia (Khilale) as the dowry of his 
daughter Maruk. AmhriSf it appears, 
regtffdloss of this alliance and of the 
favour with which he was treated by 
Sargon, had cultivated relations with 
the kings of Musak and Vara/rat 
(Meshech and Ararat, or the Moschi 
and Armenia), who were in revolt 
against Assyria, and thus drew on 
himself the hostility of the great 
king. His chief city, Bit-Burutas, 
was taken and sacked, and he himself 
was brought a prisoner to Nineveh, 
Assyrian colonists being sent to occupy 
the country. 

In the reign of Sennacherib, about 
B.C. 701, CiUcia again revolted and 
was reduced, a vast number of the 
inhabitants being carried off to Nine- 
veh to assist, in concert with Chal- 
dsBan, Aramaean, Syrian, and Armenian 
captives, in building that famous 
paJace of which the ruins have lately 
been excavated at Eoyunjik. 

Esarhaddon also again attacked Ci- 
licia in about b.c. 686, and took and 
plundered 21 large cities belonging to 
the country. Cilicia is said in this 
passage to be a wooded and moun. 
tainous region above Tahal (Tubal of 

When Fblyhistor describes as con. 
tinvous events under the reign of Sen. 
luudierib — the repulse by the Assyrians 
of a Greek invasion of Cib'cia, the 
craofekm of a trophy on the spot to 
connnewoTftte the monarch's exploits, 
and the ^b^qneut boilding of Tarsus 
— hA is prolbohTy confounding together 
thrpQ itidcpptidpnt matters belonging 
to ihn*& dJntidct periods of history; 
fot tho ouJy hoatOa oontact of the 

Greeks and Assyrians recorded in the 
inscriptions took place under Sargon, 
while Sennacherib's trophy on the 
shore of the Mediterranean refers to 
the contest of Phcenicia and the defeat 
of the Egyptians, and not to any re- 
pulse of the Greeks ; and Tarsus, 
again, instead of being built by Senna< 
chorib, may be conjectured from a 
passage in the annals of Esarhaddon, 
to have been founded by the latter 
monarch after the conquest of Sidon. 
A city at any rate named after Esar. 
haddon, was built at this period with 
the assistance of the kings of Phoenicia 
and the Greek kings of Cyprus, on the 
shores of the Mediterranean, and 
peopled with colonists from the far 

The son of Esarhaddon, about ten 
years later, appears for the fourth time 
to have overrun Cilicia previous to his 
attack on Aradus, but the passage in 
the annals of this king referring to 
the expedition in question is too de- 
fective to be turned to much historical 

Bochart supposes the name of Cilicia 
to be derived from the Hebrew root 
p^n, and to have been g^iyen to the 
country on account of its rugged and 
stony character; but the Hebrew 
Khaldk, although applied to ** stones," 
signifies properly, " to be smooth ** or 
"polished," and is thus singularly 
inapplicable to Cilicia. There are, 
indeed, no grounds whatever for 
assigning a Semitic etymology to the 
name. The ancient Cilicians in all 
probability belonged to the same 
Scythic family as the neighbouring 
races of Meshech and Tubal.— H. C. B.] 

^ The Babylonian monarch at this 
time was either Nabopolassar or Nobu- 
ohadnezzar. (See the Astronomical 
Canon.) Neither of these names is 
properly Hellenized by Labynetus. 
Labynetus is undoubtedly the Na- 
bunahid of the inscriptions, the 
Nabonadins of the Canon, the Nabon- 



that Alyattes Bhould give his daughter Aryenis in marriage 
to Astyages the son of Cyaxares, knowing, as they did, that 
without some sure bond of strong necessity, there is wont to 
be but little security in men's covenants. Oaths are taken by 
these people in the same way as by the Greeks, except that 
they make a slight flesh wound in their arms, from which 
each sucks a portion of the other's blood.^ 

75. Cyrus had captured this Astyages, who was his mother's 
father, and kept him prisoner, for a reason which I shall bring 
forward in another part of my history. This capture formed 
the ground of quarrel between Cyrus and Croesus, in con- 
sequence of which Croesus sent his servants to ask the oracle 
if he should attack the Persians ; and when an evasive answer 
came, fancying it to be in his favour, carried his arms into 
the Persian territory. When he reached the river Halys, he 
transported his army across it, as I maintain, by the bridges 
which exist there at the present day ; ^ but, according to the 
general belief of the Greeks,* by the aid of Thales the Milesian. 
The tale is, that Croesus was in doubt how he should get his 

nediiB of Beroens and Megaethenes. 
There wae only one king of the name 
between Nabonassar (b.c. 747) and 
Cyma. He reigned 17 years, from 
B.C. 555 to B.C. 588. If the name hero 
be not a mistake of onr anther's, this 
Labjnetna mnst have been a prince of 
the royal house, sent in command of 
the Babylonian contingent, of whom 
notiiing else is known. He might be 
a son of Nabopolassar. 

• Vide infra, iv. 70, and Tacit. Annal. 

Halya (Kinl Irmdk) is ford- 
able at no yery gpreat distance from 
its month (Hamilton's Asia Minor, 
ToL i p. 827) > bnt bridges oyer it are 
not nnfreqnent (ibid. p. 297, 411). 
These are of a yery simple constmc- 
tioii, consisting of planks laid across a 
few slender beams, extending from 
bank to bank, withoat any parapet. 
Bridges with stone piers haye existed 
at some former p^iod (ib. p. 826), 
bnt they bekng probably to Soman, 

and not to any earlier times. The 
ancient conBtractions mentioned by 
Herodotus are more likely to haye 
been of the modem type. By his use 
of the plnral number in this place we 
may conclude, that on the route to 
which he refers the river was crossed 
by two bridges, advantage being taken 
of its separation into two channels. 
This is the case now at Bafra, on the 
route between Samsum and Sindp^, 
which is not unlikely to have been the 
point at which Croesus passed the 
river. The fact of the double channel 
may have given rise to the story about 

• Larcher (vol. i. p. 813) remarks 
that this opinion held its ground not- 
withstanding the opposition of Hero- 
dotus. It is spoken of as an indis- 
putablo fact by the Scholiast on Aris- 
tophanes (Nubes, 18), by Lncian 
(Hippias, § 2, vol. vii. p. 295), tod by 
Diogenes Laertins (i. 88). 



Book I. 

axmy across, as the bridges were not made at that time, and 
that Thales, who happened to be in the camp, divided the. 
stream and caused it to flow on both sides of the army instead 
of on the left only. This he effected thus: — Beginning 
some distance above the camp, he dug a deep channel, which 
he brought round in a semicircle, so that it might pass to 
rearward of the camp ; and that thus the river, diverted from 
its natural course into the new channel at the point where 
this left the stream, might flow by the station of the army, 
and afterwards fall again into the ancient bed. In this way 
the river was split into two streams, which were both easily 
fordable. It is said by some that the water was entirely 
drained off from the natural bed of the river. But I am of a 
different opinion; for I do not see how, in that case, they 
could have crossed it on their return. 

76. Having passed the Halys with the forces under his 
command, Croesus entered the district of Cappadocia which 
is called Pteria.' It lies in the neighbourhood of the city of 
Sinope^ upon the Euxine, and is the strongest position in the 
whole country thereabouts. Hei^ Croesus pitched his camp, 
and began to ravage the fields of the Syrians. He besieged 
and took the chief city of the Pterians, and reduced the 
inhabitants to slavery : he likewise made himself master of 
the surrounding villages. Thus he brought ruin on the 
Syrians, who were guilty of no offence towards him. Mean- 
while, Cyrus had levied an army and marched against Croesus, 

' Pteria in Herodotng is a district, 
not a city, as Larcher sapposes (not. 
ad loc.). Its capital ("the city of the 
Pterians ") may have borne the same 
name, as Stephen seems to have 
thought (ad voo. Ilrcp^a), but this is 
nnoertain. The site oannot possibly 
be at BoghdM-Keuiy where M. Texier 
places it (Asie Miheure, vol. i. pp. 
222-4), for the connexion of the name 
with 8in6p6, both in Herodotus and in 
Stephen, implies that Pteria was near 
the coast. A name resembling Pteria 
■eemi to have heea giren to several 

Asiatic strongholds, as to a certain 
Median city, and to the acropolis of 
Babylon. (Steph. Byz. 1. s. c.) 

^ Sindp^, which recent events have 
once more made famous, was a colony 
of the Milesians, foondcd about B.C. 
630 (infra, iv. 12). It occupied the 
neck of a smaU peninsula projecting 
into the Euxine towards the north- 
east, in lat. 42^, long. 35% nearly. The 
ancient town has been completely 
mined, and the modem is built of its 
fragments (Hamilton's Asia Minor, vol. 
i. p. 817-9). 


Chap. 76-77. 



increasing his nnmberB at every step by the forces of the 
nations that lay in his way. Before beginning his march he 
had sent heralds to the lonians; with an invitation to them to 
revolt from the Lydian king : they, however, had refused 
compliance. Cyrus, notwithstanding, marched against the 
enemy, and encamped opposite them in the district of Fteria, 
where the trial of strength took place between the contending 
powers. The combat was hot and bloody, and upon both 
sides the number of the slain was great ; nor had victory 
declared in favour of either party, when night came down 
upon the battle-field. Thus both armies fought valiantly. 

77. Croesus laid the blame of his ill success on the number 
of his troops, which fell very short of the enemy ; and as 
on the next day Cyrus did not repeat the attack, he set off on 
his return to Sardis, intending to collect his allies and renew 
the contest in the spring. He meant to call on the Egyptians 
to send him aid, according to the terms of the alliance which 
he had concluded with Amasis,*^ previously to his league with 
the LacedaBmonians. He intended also to summon to his 
assistance the Babylonians, under their king Xabynetus," for 
they too were bound to him by treaty : and further, he meant 
to send word to Sparta, and appoint a day for the coming of 
their succours. Having got together these forces in addition 
to his own, he would, as soon as the winter was past and 

* The treaty of Amasis with Crcesiis 
would snffioe to aooount for the hos- 
tSHty of the Persians against Egypt. 
(See note on Book ii. ch. 177.) 

* Undonbtedly the Nabonadios of 
the Canon, and the Nabonahid of the 
moniiments. The fact that it was 
with this monarch that CrcBsns made 
his treaty helps greatly to fix the date 
of the &I1 of Sardis; it proves that 
that event eawnot 7ia/ve luj/ppened 
eowUer than b.c. 564. For Nabimahid 
did not ascend the throne till B.C. 555 
(Astron. Can.), and a fall year mnst be 
allowed between the condosion of the 
treaty and the taking ot the Lydian 

[As Nebnchadnezzar had a few 
years previously carried the Baby- 
lonian arms over all Western Asia, 
reasserting ^e ancient Assyrian su- 
premacy over the countries which 
touched the Mediterranean, there is 
no improbability in the existence of 
political relations between Crcesns 
and Nabunahid. The history of this 
king, however, the last of the Baby- 
Ionian monarchs, so far as it has 
been as yet recovered from the menu, 
ments, is exclusively domestic, and 
thus does not enable us to ascertain 
what part he took in the contest be- 
tween Cyrus and Croesus. — H. C. E.] 



Book I. 

springtime come, march once more against the Persians. 
With these intentions Croesus, immediately on his return, 
despatched heralds to his various allies, with a request that 
they would join him at Sardis in the course' of the fifth month 
from the time of the departure of his messengers. He then 
disbanded the army — consisting of mercenary troops — ^which 
had been engaged with the Persians and had since accom- 
panied him to his capital, and let them depart to their homes, 
never imagining that Cyrus, after a battle in which victory 
had been so evenly balanced, would venture to march upon 

78. While Croesus was still in this mind, all the suburbs of 
Sardis were found to swarm with snakes, on the appearance 
of which the horses left feeding in the pasture-grounds, and 
flocked to the suburbs to eat them. The king, who witnessed 
the unusual sight, regarded it very rightly as a prodigy. He 
therefore instajitly sent messengers to the soothsayers of 
Telmessus,*^ to consult them upon the matter. His messengers 

^ Three distiuot cities of Asia Minor 
are called by this name. One of them 
— ^most properly spelt Termessns — 
was in Pisidia. (See Arrian. Exp. 
Alex. i. 27, 28, where the form used is 
Tt\fiura6s ; and compare Strab. xiii. p. 
952 ; Ptol. T. 5 ; Polyb. xxii. 18, § 4.) 
Another was in Caria, seven miles (60 
stades) from Halicamassns (Polemon, 
Fr. 35), to which city it was attached 
by Alexander (Plin. H. N. v. 29). The 
third and most famous was, properly 
speaking, in Lycia ; bat it was so near 
the cozifines of Caria as to be some- 
times assigned to that oonntry. (Steph. 
Byz. ad voc. T€Xfiurtr6s ; compare PUn. 
H. N. T. 27; Liv. xxxvii. 16; and 
Pomp. Mel. i. 15.) It has been 
donbted which of the last two was the 
city famous for its soothsayers. Col. 
Leake decides in favour of the Tel. 
meBSiis near Halicamassns (Nnm. 
HelL AntLf p. 64; Journal of Philology, 
yoL iy. p. 240), bat, as it seems to me, 
JMDiBoient groands. The Lexi- 
(PhotiaB, Saidas, Etym. 
&.) tee mMmimooi in giying 

the prophetic character to the Lycian 
city ; and when Cicero (De Div. i. 41) 
and Clement of Alexandria (Strom i. 
p. 400) place the prophetic Telmessoa 
in Caria, it is qnite possible that they 
mean the same city. (See Smith's 
Diet, of Greek and Boman Geography, 
vol. ii. p. 1122, and Miiller's Fr. 
Hist. Gr. vol. iv. p. 394.) 

The Lycian Telmessos lay apon the 
coast occapying the site of the modem 
village of Makri, where are some 
carioos remains, especially tombs, 
partly Greek, partly native Lycian. 
In the Greek inscriptions at this 
place the name is written Telmessos, 
not Telmtssns, as in Arrian. (See 
Clarke's Travels, vol. ii. p. 222 et 
seqq. ; Fellows's Asia Minor, p. 248 
et seqq. ; Leake's Tonr, p. 128 ; and 
for pictorial representations consult 
the mag^iificent work of M. Texier, 
vol. iii. plates 166-178.) 

On the celebrity of the Telmissian 
diviners see Air. Exp. Al. i. 25 ; ii. 3 ; 
Cio. De Div. i. 41, 42; Plin. H. N. 
zxx. 1. According to Clement of 

Chap. 77-80. 



reached the city, and obtained from the Tehnessians an ex- 
planation of what the prodigy portended, but fate did not 
allow them to inform their lord ; for ere they entered Sardis 
on their retnm, CrcBsns was a prisoner. What the Tehnessians 
had declared was, that Crcesus must look for the entry of an 
army of foreign invaders into his country, and that when they 
came they would subdue the native inhabitants; since the 
snake, said they, is a child of earth, and the horse a warrior 
and a foreigner. Crcesus was already a prisoner when the 
Tehnessians thus answered his inquiry, but they had no 
knowledge of what was taking place at Sardis, or of the fate 
of the monarch. 

79. Cyrus, however, when Crcesus broke up so suddenly 
from his quarters after the battle at Pteria, conceiving that 
he had marched away with the intention of disbanding his 
army, considered a little, and soon saw that it was advisable 
for him to advance upon Sardis with all haste, before the 
Lydians could get their forces together a second time. Having 
thus determined, he lost no time in carrying out his plan. 
He marched forward with such speed that he was himself the 
first to announce his coming to the Lydian king. That 
monarch, placed in the utmost difficulty by the turn of events 
which had gone so entirely against all his calculations, never- 
theless led out the Lydians to battle. In all Asia there was 
not at that time a braver or more warlike people.® Their 
manner of fighting was on horseback ; they carried long 
lances, and were clever in the management of their steeds. 

80. The two armies met in the plain before Sardis. It is a 
vast flat, bare of trees, watered by the Hyllus and a number 
of other streams, which all flow into one larger than the rest. 

Alexandria, their tpeeial power laj in 
tbe interpietaticm of dreamB (Strom. L 
16; p. 861). He speakB as if their 
reputation still continned in his own 
day. (Cohort, ad Oent. § 8 ; p. 40.) 

" Kr. Grote has some good observa- 
tions on the contrast between the 

earlier and the later national oharao- 
ter of the Lydians and Phrygfians 
(Hist, of Greece, vol. iii.pp. 289-291). 
The Lydians did not become afipobianoi 
(Mech. Fers. 40) until after the Per- 
sian oonqnest. ...., ,^ <;■" 



Book I. 

called the Hermus.® This river rises in the sacred mountain 
of the Dindymenian Mother,^ and falls into the sea near the 
town of Phocsea.* 

^ SardiB (the modem 8art) stood in 
the broad valley of the Hermns at a 
point where the hills approach each 
other more closely than in any other 
place. Some vestiges of the anoiont 
town remain, bat, except the mins of 
the great temple of Cyb616 (infra, v. 
102), they seem to be of a late date 
(Texior, vol. iii. pp. 17-19). Above 
Sardis, to the east, opens ont the plain, 
formed by the jnnction of the Coga. 
mns with the Hermns, thns described 
by Chandler : ** The plain beside the 
Hermns which divides it, is well 
watered by rills from the slopes. It 
is wide, beautiful, and cultivated." 
(Travels, vol. L ch. Ixxiv. p. 289.) 
Strabo appears to have intended this 
by his "plain of Cyrus," which ad- 
joined Phrygia (xiii. p. 929). See 
Renncirs Geography of Western Asia, 
voL i. p. 383. 

There is a second more extensive 
and still richer plain below Sardis, of 
which Strabo also speaks (^OKftrcu rp 
trSkfi (Sardis) r6 re ^apButyhy xf^ioyy 
KC^ rh Tov *Epfiov, Ktd rh KaStrrpiayhv, 
awtxv TC 6yTa icol irdfTty Hpiffra 
IT f Blot v). This plain is formed by 
the junction of the Hyllus with the 
Hermus, and reaches from Magnesia, 
the modem Ifanser, to Sardis. It is 
thus spoken of by Sir C. Fellows: — 
" From Manser we started before nine 
o'clock, and travelled across the valley 
directly north. At two miles* distance 
we crossed the river Hermus by a 
bridge, and almost immediately after- 
wards its tributary, the Hyllus, by a 
ferry ; the latter is larger (?) than the 
main river, which it joins within a 
furlong of the ferry. The valley over 
whioh we continued to ride must be 
at least twelve miles dA/rectly across 
from Hazuiar. . . . The land is eaceU 
Unit and I Goaroely saw a stone 
dating the fifat eighteen miles. Cot- 
ton and c<tm grow Uunuriantlyy but 
there are few treee (compare Hero- 
dotofl'a i^t\h¥) coMfpt the willow and 
pollard poplar/' (FbUowi' Asia Minor 

p. 201.) This must certainly be the 
plain intended by Horodotns : rh w^Bioy 
rh xph rod A^rrfos rov 2ap8ii)yov • . . 
Bih 8i alrov Torafioi piovrts koX 
ttWoi Ka\ *TXXoj avji^rryvvat is rhw 
fifyi<rroy, Ka\t6fi€yoy Zh*Epfioy. But it 
is scarcely possible that the battle can 
really have taken place on this side of 

' The Dindymenian mother was Cy- 
b61^, the special deity of Phrygia. It 
is impossible to say for certain what 
mountain or mountain-range Hero- 
dotus intended by his oZpos Mrirphs 
AiyZufiiiyris, The interior of Asia 
Minor was but very little known in 
his day. Probably, however, he 
meant to place the sources of the 
Hermus in Phrygia, which is correct 
so far as it goes. 

The Hermus rises from two prin- 
cipckl sources, both in the range of 
Morad, which is a branch firom the 
great chain of Tauras, forming the 
watershed between the streams 
which flow westward into the ^gean, 
and those which run northward into 
the Euxine. The chief source of the 
two is not, as Col. Leake thought 
(Asia Minor, p. 169), that which rises 
near the modom Qhiediz or Kodue 
(the KaBol of Strabo), but the stream 
flowing from the foot of Morad Dagh, 
which has perhaps some claim to be 
regarded as the Mount Dindym^n^ of 
Strabo (xiii. p. 897) and our author. 
(See Hamilton's Asia Minor, vol. i. p. 

' The Hermus (Ohiediz.Cha/C) now 
falls into the sea very much nearer to 
Smyrna than to Phoca». Its course la 
perpetually changing (Chandler, vol. i. 
ch. xxi.), and of late years its em- 
bouchure has been gradually ap- 
proaching Smyrna, whose harbour is 
seriously threatened by the extensive 
shoals which advance opposite the 
Sanjiac Kaleh, formed of the mud 
brought down by the Hermus. (See 
Hamilton's Asia Minor, vol. i. p. 45.) 

Chap. 80, 81. 



When Cyrus beheld the Lydians arranging themselves in 
order of battle on this plain, fearful of the strength of their 
cavalry, he adopted a device which Harpagus, one of the 
Medes, suggested to him. He collected together all the 
camels that had come in the train of his army to carry the 
provisions and the baggage, and taking off their loads, he 
mounted riders upon them accoutred as horsemen. These 
he conmianded to advance in front of his other troops against 
the Lydian horse ; behind them were to follow the foot 
soldiers, and last of all the cavalry. When his arrangements 
were complete, he gave his troops orders to slay all the other 
Lydians who came in their way without mercy, but to spare 
Croesus and not kill him, even if he should be seized and offer 
resistance. The reason why Cyrus opposed his camels to the 
enemy's horse was, because the horse has a natural dread of 
the camel, and cannot abide either the sight or the smell of 
that animal. By this stratagem he hoped to make Croesus's 
horse useless to him,' the horse being what he chiefly depended 
on for victory. The two armies then joined battle, and 
immediately the Lydian war-horses, seeing and smelling the 
camels, turned round and galloped off; and so it came to pass 
that all Croesus's hopes withered away. The Lydians, how- 
ever, behaved manfully. As soon as they understood what 
was happening, they leaped off their horses, and engaged with 
the Persians on foot. The combat was long ; but at last, 
after a great slaughter on both sides, the Lydians turned 
and fled. They were driven within their walls, and the 
Persians laid siege to Sardis. 

81. Thus the siege began. Meanwhile Croesus, thinking 
that the place would hold out no inconsiderable time, sent off 
fresh heralds to his allies from the beleaguered town. His 

' It 18 said that in ono of the great 
battles between the Servians and the 
Turks *' a ooandl of war was held in 
the Turkish camp, and some of the 
generals proposed that the camels 
should be placed in front of the army, 

in order that the horses of the enemy 
might be frightoDod by them." It was, 
however, determined on this occasion 
not to have reconrso to stratagem. 
(Frontier Lands of the Christian and 
the Turk, vol. ii. p. 380.) 



Book I. 

former messengers had been charged to bid them assemble at 
Sardis in the course of the fifth month ; they whom he now 
sent were to say that he was abready besieged, and to beseech 
them to come to his aid with all possible speed. Among his 
other allies CrcBsos did not omit to send to Lacedsemon. 

82. It chanced, however, that the Spartans were themselves 
just at this time engaged in a quarrel with the Argives about 
a place called Thyrea,* which was within the limits of Argolis, 
but had been seized on by the Lacedaemonians. Indeed, the 
whole country westward, as far as Cape Malea, belonged once 
to the Argives, and not only that entire tract upon the main- 
land, but also Cythera, and the other islands." The Argives 
collected troops to resist the seizure of Thyrea, but before 
any battle was fought, the two parties came to terms, and it 
was agreed that three hundred Spartans and three hundred 
Argives should meet and fight for the place, which should 
belong to the nation with whom the victory rested.* It was 
stipulated also that the other troops on each side should 
return home to their respective countries, and not remain to 
witness the combat, as there was danger, if the armies stayed, 
that either the one or the other, on seeing their countrymen 
undergoing defeat, might hasten to their assistance. These 

* Thyrea was the chief town of the 
difltriot called CTnuria, the border ter- 
ritory between Laconia and Argolis 
(cf. Thucyd. v. 41). The Cynorians 
were a remnant of the ancient popula- 
tion of the Peloponnese before the 
Dorian conquest. They called them- 
selves lonians, and claimed to be 
ainSx^t^ff (vide infra, viii. 73). The 
convent of Luku seems to mark the 
site of the ancient town. Here on " a 
tabular hill covered with shrubs and 
small trees, and having a gentle de- 
scent towards the river of Luki^" are 
extensive remains of a considerable 
town (Leake's Morea, vol. ii. p. 487). 
The distance from the sea is greater 
by a good deal than in the time of 
Thuoydides (iv. 57), as the river has 
brought down large deposits. 

' In the time of Pheidon the First, 
about B.C. 748. See Miillor's Dorians, 
vol. i. p. 154. Compare the Fragment 
of Ephorus (15, ed. Didot), " (rv/Axpdr' 
rtiv 84 Kol AoKtBoufiovlovSy cfrc ^BoKfi' 
trayras rp Biit r^p tip^yrjy tirrvxith «It€ 
Kctt (Twtpyohs l^ciK ¥Ofxl<rcarras irphs rh 
KaTa\v(rau. rhv ^cfSwya it^jji pri fxdrop 
aifTohs T^v ^ytfioriav rStp IIcXo- 
irovvfi<rio»y, ^v iKtTyoi 'trpo4KTHvro,^ 

• Thuoydides confirms this fact (v. 
41). The Argives, 180 years after- 
wards, proposed the insertion of a 
clause in a treaty which they were 
making with Sparta, to the effect that, 
on due notice given, Thyrea might 
again be fought for, &<rictp kcDl trp^^ 
rtp6v voTt, The Spartans thought 
the proposal folly y so much had opinion 
changed in the interval. 

Chap. 81, 82. WAR OF SPARTA WITH ARGOS, 209 

terms being agreed on, the two axmies marched oflF, leaving 
three hundred picked men on each side to fight for the 
territory. The battle began, and so equal were the com- 
batants, that at the close of the day, when night put a stop 
to the fight, of the whole six hundred only three men remained 
alive, two Argives, Alcanor and Chromius, and a single 
Spartan, Othryadas. The two Argives, regarding themselves 
as the victors, hurried to Argos, Othryadas, the Spartan, re- 
mained upon the field, and, stripping the bodies of the Argives 
who had fallen, carried their armour to the Spartan camp. 
Next day the two armies returned to learn the result. At first 
they disputed, both parties claiming the victory, the one, 
because they had the greater number of survivors ; the other, 
because their man remained on the field, and stripped the 
bodies of the slain, whereas the two men of the other side ran 
away ; but at last they fell from words to blows, and a battle 
was fought, in which both parties suflFered great loss, but at 
the end the LacedaBmonians gained the victory.'' Upon this 
the Argives, who up to that time had worn their hair long, 
cut it off close, and made a law, to which they attached a 
curse, binding themselves never more to let their hair grow, 
and never to allow their women to wear gold, until they should 
recover Thyrea. At the same time the Lacedaemonians made 
a law the very reverse of this, namely, to wear their hair long, 
though they had always before cut it close. Othryadas ® him- 
self, it is said, the sole survivor of the three hundred, prevented 
by a sense of shame from returning to Sparta after all his 

' Plutarch asserts that thero was no 
Bcoond battle, but that an appeal was 
made to the Amphictyons, who decided 
in favour of Sparta (Moral, ii. p. 306, 
B.). He cites as his anthoritj a cer- 
tain Chrysermns, who had written a 
book entitled Tltkowoyytiiruued' 

• VarioiiB tales were told of Othry- 
adas. According to one (Thesens ap. 
Stob. Plor. vii. 67) he was mortally 
wonnded in the fight, npon which he 

hid himself under some of the dead bo- j i. pp. 130, 496 ; vol ii. p. 2.) 
dies till the two Arg^ve survivors were 

VOL. I. 

gone ; he then crawled forth, erected 
a trophy, and wrote a superscription 
with his blood ; when he had done this, 
ho fell dead (Suidas in voc. 'OBpvd^ns.) 
According to another story, he sur- 
vived the occasion, and was afterwards 
slain by Perilaiis, son of Alcanor, one 
of the two Argives who escaped (Pau- 
san. II. XX. § 6). Othryadas was a 
favourite subject with the epigram 
writers. (Sec Bmnck's Analocta, vol. 



Book I. 

comrades had fallen, laid violent hands upon himself in 

83. Although the Spartans were engaged with these matters 
when the herald arrived from Sardis to entreat them to come 
to the assistance of the besieged king, yet, notwithstanding, 
they instantly set to work to afford him help. They had 
completed their preparations, and the ships were just ready to 
start, when a second message informed them that the place 
had already fallen, and that Croesus was a prisoner. Deeply 
grieved at his misfortune, the Spartans ceased their efforts. 

84. The following is the way in which Sardis was taken. 
On the fourteenth day of the siege Cyrus bade some horsemen 
ride about his lines, and make proclamation to the whole 
army that he would give a reward to the man who should first 
mount the wall. After this he made an assault, but without 
success. His troops retired, but a certain Mardian, Hyroeades 
by name, resolved to approach the citadel and attempt it at a 
place where no guards were ever set. On this side the rock 
was so precipitous, and the citadel (as it seemed) so im- 
pregnable, that no fear was entertained of its being carried 
in this place. Here was the only portion of the circuit round 
which their old king Meles^ did not carry the lion which his 
leman bore to him. For when the Telmessians had declared 
that if the lion were taken round the defences, Sardis would 
be impregnable, and Meles, in consequence, carried it round 
the rest of the fortress where the citadel seemed open to 
attack, he scorned to take it round this side, which he looked 
on as a sheer precipice, and therefore absolutely secure. It 
is on that side of the city which faces Mount Tmolus. 
Hyroeades, however, having the day before observed a 
Lydian soldier descend the rock after a helmet that had rolled 

* Two Lydian kin^ of this name 
are mentioned by Nicolas of Damas- 
cus (Fr. 24), who probably follows 
Xanthns. One is said to have been a 
tyrant, and to have been deposed by 
a certain Mozns, who sncoeoded him 
on the throne. The other inomediately 

preceded Myrsns, the father of Can- 
danles. He is noticed by Ensebins, 
who improperly makes him the imme- 
diate predecessor of Candanles (Enseb. 
Chron. Can., Part ii. p. 322). The 
former of these two kinprs is probably 
the " old king Meles " of Herodotus. 

Chap. 83-85. 



down from the top, and having seen him pick it up and carry 
it back, thought oVer what he had witnessed, aiid formed his 
plan. He climbed the rock himself, and other Persians 
followed in his track, until a large number had mounted to 
the top. Thus was Sardis taken,* and given up entirely to 

85. With respect to Croesus himself, this is what befell him 
at the taking of the town. He had a son, of whom I made 
mention above, a worthy youth, whose only defect was that 
he was deaf and dumb. In the days of his prosperity Croesus 
had done the utmost that he could for him, and among other 
plans which he had devised, had sent to Delphi to consult the 
oracle on his behalf. The answer which he had received from 
the Pythoness ran thus : — 

" Lydian, wide-mling monarch, thou wondrous simple Crocsns, t» 
Wish not ever to hear in thy palace the voice thou hast prayed for, 
Uttering intelligent sounds. Far better thy son should be silent ! 
Ah ! woe worth the day when thine ear shall first list to his accents." 

When the town was taken, one of the Persians was just 
going to kill Croesus, not knowing who he was. Croesus saw 
the man coming, but under the pressure of his affliction, did 
not care to avoid the blow, not minding whether or no he died 
beneath the stroke. Then this son of his, who was voiceless. 

' SardiB was taken a second time in 
almost exactly the same way by 
Lagoras, one of the generals of Antio- 
chos the Great (Polyb. vii. 4-7). 

Three stories were current as to the 
mode in which the capture by Cyrus 
was effected. — 1. This of Herodotus, 
which Xenophon followed in its prin- 
cipal features (Cyrop. VIII. ii. § 1-13). 
— 2. That of Ctesias, reported also 
by Polyssnus (Strateg. vii. vi. § 10), 
which made Cyras take Sardis by the 
advice of GSbares, who suggested to him 
to alarm the inhabitants by placing 
figures of men on long poles, and ele- 
vating them to the top of the walls 
(Persic. Excerpt. § 4).— 3. The fol- 
lowing, given also by Polyasnas (ib. § 2) 
what aathority it is impossible 

to say, possibly that of Xanthus. 
Cyms, it was said, assented to a truce, 
and drew off his army, but the night 
following he returned, and, finding the 
walls unguarded, scaled them with 
ladders. This last seems likely to 
have been the Lydian version. 

Few people will hesitate to prefer 
the narrative of Herodotus to the 
other accounts. That of Ctosias is too 
puerile to deserve a moment's con- 
sideration. The other, which rests on 
no authority but that of Polyronus, 
makes Cyrus guilty of a foul piece 
of treachery, which is completely at 
variance with the character borne by 
him alike in Oriental and in Grecian 


beholding the Persian as he rushed towards Croesus, in the 
agony of his fear and grief burst into speech, and said, " Man, 
do not kill Croesus." This was the first time that he had ever 
spoken a word, but afterwards he retained the power of sj^eech 
for the remainder of his Ufe. 

86. Thus was Sardis taken by the Persians, and Croesus 
himself fell into their hands, after having reigned fourteen 
years, and been besieged in his capital fourteen days ; thus 
too did Croesus fulfil the oracle, which said that he should 
destroy a mighty empire, — by destroying his own. Then the 
Persians who had made Croesus prisoner brought him before 
Cyrus. Now a vast pile had been raised by his orders, and 
Croesus, laden with fetters, was placed upon it, and with him 
twice seven of the sons of the Lydians. I know not whether 
Cyrus was minded to make an offering of the first-fruits to 
some god or other, or whether he had vowed a vow and was 
performing it, or whether, as may well be, he had heard that 
Croesus was a holy man, and so wished to see if any of the 
heavenly powers would appear to save him from being burnt 
alive. However it might be, Cyrus was thus engaged, and 
Croesus was already on the pile, when it entered his mind in 
the depth of his woe that there was a divine warning in the 
words which had come to him from the lips of Solon, " No 
one while he lives is happy." When this thought smote him 
he fetched a long breath, and breaking his deep silence, 
groaned out aloud, thrice uttering the name of Solon. Cyrus 
caught the sounds, and bade the interpreters inquire of Croesus 
who it was he called on. They drew near and asked him, but 
he held his peace, and for a long time made no answer to 
their questionings, until at length, forced to say something, 
he exclaimed, " One I would give much to see converse with 
every monarch." Not knowing what he meant by this reply, 
the interpreters begged him to explain himself ; and as they 
pressed for an answer, and grew to be troublesome, he told 
them how, a long time before, Solon, an Athenian, had come 
and seen all his splendour, and made Hght of it; and how 



whatever he had said to him had fallen out exactly as he fore- 
showed, although it was nothing that especially concerned 
him, but applied to all mankind alike, and most to those who 
seemed to themselves happy. Meanwhile, as he thus spoke, 
the pile was Ughted, and the outer portion began to blaze. 
Then Cyrus, hearing from the interpreters what Croesus had 
said, relented, bethinking himself that he too was a man, and 
that it was a fellow-man, and one who had once been as 
blessed by fortune as himself, that he was burning aUve ; 
afraid, moreover, of retribution, and full of the thought that 
whatever is human is insecure. So he bade them quench the 
blazing fire as quickly as they could, and take down Croesus 
and the other Lydians, which they tried to do, but the flames 
were not to be mastered. 

87. Then, the Lydians say that Croesus, perceiving by the 
efforts made to quench the fire that Cyrus had relented, and 
seeing also that all was in vain, and that the men could not 
get the fire under, called with a loud voice upon the god 
Apollo, and prayed him, if he had ever received at his hands 
any acceptable gift, to come to his aid, and deliver him from 
his present danger. As thus with tears he besought the god, 
suddenly, though up to that time the sky had been clear and 
the day without a breath of wind,® dark 'clouds gathered, and 
the storm burst over their heads with rain of such violence, 
that the flames were speedily extinguished. Cyrus, convinced 
by this that Croesus was a good man and a favourite of 
heaven, asked him after he was taken off the pile, ** Who it 
was that had persuaded him to lead an army into his country, 
and so become his foe rather than continue his friend ? " to 
which Croesus made answer as follows : ** What I did, oh ! 
king, was to thy advantage and to my own loss. If there be 
blame, it rests with the god of the Greeks, who encouraged 

' The later romaiioers regarded this 
inoideDt as oyer-marvelloiiB, and 
softened down the miraole consider- 
ably. See the fragment of Nicolaas 
Damasceniu translated at the close 

of the Essay on the Chronology and 
History of Lydia. The words of the 
the original are, ** x<tM<^>' 8* ^"xc riiv 



Book I. 

me to begin the war. No one is so foolish as to prefer to 
peace war, in which, instead of sons burying their fathers, 
fathers bury their sons. But the gods willed it so." * 
^ 88. Thus did Croesus speak. Cyrus then ordered his fetters 
to be taken off, and made him sit down near himself, and paid 
him much respect, looking upon him, as did also the courtiers, 
with a sort of wonder. Croesus, wrapped in thought, uttered 
no word. After a while, happening to turn and perceive the 
Persian soldiers engaged in plundering the town, he said to 
Cyrus, " May I now tell thee, oh ! king, what I have in my 
mind, or is silence best ? " Cyrus bade him speak his mind 
boldly. Then he put this question : ** What is it, oh ! Cyrus, 
which those men yonder are doing so busily ? " '* Plundering 
thy city," Cyrus answered, "and carrjring off thy riches." 
" Not my city," rejoined the other, ** nor my riches. They 
are not mine any more. It is thy wealth which they are 

89. Cyrus, struck by what Croesus had said, bade all the 
court to withdraw, and then asked Croesus what he thought it 
best for him to do as regarded the plundering. Croesus 
answered, " Now that the gods have made me thy slave, oh ! 
Cyrus, it seems to me that it is my part, if I see anything to 
thy advantage, to show it to thee. Thy subjects, the Persians, 
are a poor people with a proud spirit. If then thou lettest 
them pillage and possess themselves of great wealth, I will tell 

* Modem oritics seem not to have 
been the first to object to this entire 
narrative, that the religion of the Per- 
siana did not allow the burning of 
haman beings (vide infrl^ iii. 16). The 
objection had evidently been made be> 
fore the time of Nicolas of Damasons, 
who meets it indirectly in his narra- 
tive. The Persians (he g^ves ns to 
understand) had for some time before 
this neglected the precepts of Zoro- 
aster, and allowed his ordinances with 
respect to fire to faU into desnetnde. 
The miracle whereby Croesus was 
snatched from the flames reminded 
them of their ancient creed, and in- 

dnced them to re-establish the whole 
system of Zoroaster. It may be 
doubted, however, whether the system 
of Zoroaster was at this time any por- 
tion of the Persian religion. (See the 
Critical Essays, Essay v.) 

Ctesias, in his account of the treat- 
ment of Cyrus, omitted all mention 
of the pile and the fire. According to 
him, thunder and lightning were sent 
from heaven, and the chains of Crcasus 
miraculously struck off, after which 
Cyrus treated him with kindness, as- 
signing him the city of Bardn^ (Baro^ 
of Justin, i. 7) for his residence. See 
the Persioa of Ctesias (Excerpt. § 4). 


thee what thou hast to expect at their hands. The man who 
gets the most, look to having him rebel against thee. Now 
then, if my words please thee, do thus, oh !,king: — Let some 
of thy body-guards be placed as sentinels at each of the city 
gates, and let them take their booty from the soldiers as they 
leave the town, and tell them that they do so because the 
tenths are due to Jupiter. So wilt thou escape the hatred 
they would feel if the plimder were taken away from them by 
force ; and they, seeing that what is proposed is just, will do 
it willingly." 

90. Cyrus was beyond measure pleased with this advice, so 
excellent did it seem to him. He praised Croesus highly, and 
gave orders to his body-guard to do as he had suggested. 
Then, turning to Croesus, he said, " Oh ! Croesus, I see that 
thou art resolved both in speech and act to show thyself a 
virtuous prince : ask me, therefore, whatever thou wilt as a 
gift at this moment." Croesus replied, " Oh ! my lord, if thou 
wilt suffer me to send these fetters to the god of the Greeks, 
whom I once honoured above all other gods, and ask him if it 
is his wont to deceive his benefactors, — that will be the 
highest favour thou canst confer on me." Cyrus upon this 
inquired what charge he had to make against the god. Then 
Croesus gave him a full account of all his projects, and of the 
answers of the oracle, and of the offerings which he had sent, 
on which he dwelt especially, and told him how it was the 
encouragement given him by the oracle which had led him to 
make war upon Persia. AU this he related, and at the end 
again besought permission to reproach the god with his 
behaviour. Cyrus answered with a laugh, " This I readily 
grant thee, and whatever else thou shalt at any time ask at 
my hands." Croesus, finding his request allowed, sent certain 
Lydians to Delphi, enjoining them to lay his fetters upon the 
threshold of the temple, and ask the god, '^If he were not 
ashamed of having encouraged him, as the destined destroyer 
of the empire of Cyrus, to begin a war with Persia, of which 
Buch were the first-fruits ? " As they said this they were to 



Book I. 

point to the fetters ; and further they were to inquire, " if it 
was the wont of the Greek gods to be ungrateful ? " 

91. The Lydians went to Delphi and delivered their message, 
on which the Pythoness is said to have replied — ** It is not 
possible even for a god to escape the decree of destiny. Croesus 
has been punished for the sin of his fifth ancestor,* who, when 
he was one of the body-guard of the Heraclides, joined in a 
woman's fraud, and, slaying his master, wrongfully seized 
the throne. Apollo was anxious that the fall of Sardis should 
not happen in the lifetime of Croesus, but be delayed to his 
son's days ; he could not, however, persuade the Fates.' All 
that they were willing to allow he took and gave to Croesus. 
Let Croesus know that Apollo delayed the taking of Sardis 
three full years, and that he is thus a prisoner three years 
later than was his destiny. Moreover it was Apollo who saved 
him from the burning pile. Nor has Croesus any right to 
complain with respect to the oracular answer which he re- 
ceived. For when the god told him that, if he attacked the 
Persians, he would destroy a mighty empire, he ought, if he 
had been wise, to have sent again and inquired which empire 
was meant, that of Cyrus or his own ; but if he neither under- 
stood what was said, nor took the trouble to seek for enlighten- 
ment, he has only himself to blame for the result. Besides, 
he had misunderstood the last answer which had been given 
him about the mule. Cyrus was that mule. For the parents 
of Cyrus were of different races, and of different conditions, — 
his mother a Median princess, daughter of King Astyages, and 
his father a Persian and a subject, who, though so far beneath 
her in all respects, had married his royal mistress." 

• Vide snpra, ch. 13. 

• Mr. Grote remarks with great 
trath on this passage — "It is rarely 
that these supreme goddesses or hyper, 
goddesses — for the gods themselves 
mast submit to them — are brought 
juto snch distinct light and action : 
usually they are kept in the dark, 
or are left to be understood as the 
unseen stumbliDg-block in cases of ex. 

treme incomprehensibility; and it is 
difficult clearly to determine where 
the Greeks conceived sovereign power 
to reside, in respect to the government 
of the world. But here the sovereignty 
of the MctrcB, and the subordinate 
agency of the gods, are unequivocaZly 
set forth" (Hist, of Greece, vol. iv. p. 



Such was the answer of the Pythoness. The Lydians 
returned to Sardis and communicated it to Croesus, who 
confessed, on hearing it, that the fault was his, not the god's. 
Such was the way in which Ionia was first conquered, and so 
was the empire of Croesus brought to a close. 

92. Besides the offerings which have been already mentioned, 
there are many others in various parts of Greece presented by 
Croesus; as at Thebes in Boeotia, where there is a golden 
tripod, dedicated by him to Ismenian Apollo ; '' at Ephesus, 
where the golden heifers and most of the columns are his 
gift ; and at Delphi, in the temple of Pronaia,® where there is 
a huge shield in gold, which he gave. All these offerings 
were still in existence in my day ; many others have perished : 
among them those which he dedicated at Branchidae in 
Milesia, equal in weight, as I am informed, and in all respects 
like to those at Delphi. The Delphian presents, and those 
sent to Amphiaraiis, came from his own private property, 
being the first-fruits of the fortune which he inherited from 
his father; his other offerings came from the riches of an 
enemy, who, before he mounted the tlu'one, headed a party 
against him, with the view of obtaining the crown of Lydia 
for Pantaleon. This Pantaleon was a son of Alyattes, but by 
a different mother from Croesus ; for the mother of Croesus 
was a Carian woman, but the mother of Pantaleon an Ionian. 
When, by the appointment of his father, Croesus obtained 
the kingly dignity,^ he seized the man who had plotted against 

^ The river Ismdnins washed the 
foot of the hill on which this temple 
stood (Pans. ix. 10, 2); hence the 
phrase "Ismenian ApoUo." Compare 
PaUenian Minerva (supra, ch. 62). 

" The temple of Minerva at Delphi 
stood in front of the great temple of 
Apollo. Hence the Delphian Minerva 
was called Minerva Pronaia (Bih rhirph 
rou raov /8f>v<r6liu, as Harpocration 
sajs). Vide infra, viii. 37. Paosanias 
mentions that the shield was no longer 
there in his day. It had been canied 
off by Philomelas, the Phocian general 
in the Sacred War (P&us. x. viii. § 4). 

* This has been supposed to mean 
that Aljattes associated Crcesus with 
him in the government (see Wesseling 
and Bahr in loo. Also Clinton's F. H. 
vol. ii. p. 363). But there are no suffi- 
cient grounds for such an opinion. 
Association, common enough in Egypt, 
was very rarely practised in the East 
until the time of the Sassanian princes ; 
and does not seem ever to obtain unless 
where the s accession is doubtful. Nor 
would it have been likely that, during 
a joint.reign with his father, CrcBsus 
should have treated the partisan of his 
brother with such severity. Hero- 



Book I. 

craftsmen, and courtesans of Sardis, and had at the top five 
stone pillars, which remained to my day, with inscriptions cut 
on them,® showing how much of the work was done by each 
class of workpeople. It appeared on measurement that the 
portion of the courtesans was the largest. The daughters of 

281 yards, which producos a circnm- 
ference of almost exactly half a mile. 
In the interior, into which he drove a 
gallery or tannel, he was fortunate 
enough to discover a sepulchral cham- 
ber, composed of large blocks of white 
marble, highly polished, situated 
almost exactly in the centre of the 
tumulus. The chamber was some- 
what more than 11 feet long, nearly 
8 feet broad, and 7 feet high. It was 
empty, and contained no sign of any 
inscription or sarcophagus. The mound 
outside the chamber showed traces of 
many former excavations. It was 
pierced with galleries, and contained a 
great quantity of bones, partly human, 
partly those of animals ; also a quan- 
tity of ashes, and abundant fragments 
of urns. No writing was discovered 
on any of these, or indeed in the whole 
mound, nor any fragment of metal 
with the exception of a nail, a relic of 
former explorers. Undoubtedly the 
chamber had been rifled at a remote 
period, and the mound had been used 
in post-Lydian times as a place of 
general sepulture. Hence the re- 
mains of urns, and the human bones 
and ashes. The animal bones are 
more difficult of explanation. There 
can be little doubt that the marble 
chamber was the actual resting-place 
of the Lydian king. Its dimensions 
agree nearly with those of the sepul- 
chral chamber of Cyrus. (See note to 
book i. ch. 214.) The tomb was pro- 
bably plundered for the sake of the 
gold which it contained, either by the 
Greeks, or by some one of the many 
nations who have at different periods 
held possession of Asia Minor. It is 
worthy of remark that the internal 
construction of the mound was not 
found by M. Spiegenthal in any way 
to resemble that of the famous tomb 
of Tantalus, near Smyrna, explored 

by M. Texior. (See Texier's Asio 
Mineuro, vol. ii. p. 252, et seq. ; and 
for M. Spiegenthars account of his 
excavations, see the Monatsbericht dor 
KOnigl. Proussisch. Academic dor 
Wissenschaften zu Berlin, Dec. 185-1, 
pp. 700-702.) 

According to M. Texier, the height 
of the mound is 80 metres (90 yards), 
and the cubic contents 2,650,800 tn^/re^. 
(Asie Mineuro, vol. iii. p. 21.) 

Besides the barrow of Alyattes there 
are a vast number of ancient tumuli 
on the shores of the Gygsoan lake. 
Three or four of these are scarcely 
inferior in size to that of Alyattes 
(see Chandler's Tour in Asia Minor, 
ch. 78, p. 302). These may be the 
tombs of the other Lydian kings. 

[The monument in qacstion, with a 
stone basement, and a mound above, 
is very similar to the constructed 
tombs of Etruria, and to some in 
Greece, as that of Menecrates at 
Corfu, and others. The tomb of Aga- 
memnon at Mycenae is also supposed 
by Canina to have been capped witli 
a mound; and he is quite right in 
thinking it could not have been a 
* treasury ' (as it is called of Atrous), 
being outside the city. Indeed, in the 
same locality are the remains of other 
similar monuments, not certainly so 
many treasuries, but tombs. The five 
oipot on that of Alyattes may have 
been like those on the tomb of Arnns 
at Albano, miscalled ' of the Horatii.' 

The statement about the Lydian 
women is one of those for which 
Herodotus cannot escape censure. — 
G. W.] 

' This is thought to be a very 
early mention of writing. Alyattes 
died B.C. 668 ; but even tlie Greeks 
had letters long before that time. — 
[G. W.] 


the common people in Lydia, one and all, pursue this traflSc, 
wishing to collect money for their portions. They continue 
the practice till they marry ; and are wont to contract them- 
selves in marriage. The tomb i^ ^ix ^tade^ and two plethra 
in circumference; its breadth i^ thirteen plethra. Close to 
the tomb i^ a large lake, which the Lydians feay is never dry.* 
They call it the Lake GygsBa. 

94. The Lydian^ have very nearly the ^ame customs as the 
Greeks, with the exception that these la^t do not bring up 
their girls in the same way. So far as we have any know- 
ledge, they were the first nation to introduce the use of gold 
and silver coin,* and the first who sold goods by retail. They 
claim also the invention of all the games which are common 
to them with the Greeks. These they declare that they 
invented about the time when they colonised Tyrrhenia, an 
event of which they give the following account. In the days 
of Atys the son of Manes,' there was great scarcity through 
the whole land of Lydia. For some time the Lydians bore 
the a£9iction patiently, but finding that it did not pass away, 
they set to work to devise remedies for the evil. Various 
expedients were discovered by various persons; dice, and 

^ThiB likke is still a remarkable 
feature in the Boene. (Hamilton's 
Acta Minor, i. p. 145; FellowB, p. 
290.) It Ib mentioned by Homor 
(n. XX. 892). 

* This statement was made also by 
Xenophanes of Colophon (Pollux, ix. 
▼i. S 88), and is repeated by Ensta- 
tibinB (ad Dionys. Perieget. v. 840). 
Other writers ascribed the invention 
to Fheidon I. king of Argos (Etym. 
Hagn. ad voc. 6$t\laKos; Pollnx, 
1. 8. o.). According to Plutarch, 
TheseoB coined money at Athens some 
oentories earlier (Thes. c. 25). 

It is probable that the Greeks de- 
rived their first knowledge of coined 
money from the Asiatics with whom 
they came into contact in Asia Minor, 
either Lydians or Phrygians (a tradi- 
dition mentioned in PoUox, 1. s. c, 

made the latter people the inventors 
of coining). Pheidon, who is also said 
to have introduced the ^ginetan 
standard of weights from Asia, may 
have been the first to strike coins in 
European Greece. The assertion of 
Plutarch cannot possibly be received. 
See Note B at the end of the volume. 
• A name resembling that of the 
King of Lydia, Manes t is found in the 
early traditions of many people. In 
Egypt the first king was MeneSy of 
whom ManeroSf the reputed inventor 
of music, was supposed to have been 
the son. Crete had its Minos; India 
its Manu ; Germany its first Ifan, 
Mannus ; and traces of the name 
occur in other early histories. See 
Plut. do Is. 8. 24, who mentions the 
Phrj'gian Manis.— [G. W.] 



Book I. 

huckle-bones, and ball,*^ and all such games were invented, 
except tables, the invention of which they do not claim as 
theirs. The plan adopted against the famine was to engage 
in games one day so entirely as not to feel any craving for 
food, and the next day to eat and abstain from games. In 
this way they passed eighteen years. Still the affliction 
continued and even became more grievous. So the king 
determined to divide the nation in half, and to make the two 
portions draw lots, the one to stay, the other to leave the 
land. He would continue to reign over those whose lot it 

' The ball waa a very old game, and 
it was donbtless invented in Egypt, 
as Plato sajs. It is mentioned by 
Homer (Od. viii. 372), and it was 
known in Egypt long before his time, 
in the twelfth dynasty, or abont 2000 
B.C., as were the tco-o-oi, ^<pot, latrun- 
eulif calculif or counters, used in a 
game resembling our draughts, with 
two sets of men, or "dogs," of differ- 
ent colours. They are also mentioned 
by Homer (Od. i. 107, and Rut. de 
Isid. s. 12, "t€tt«(o**). AthensBus 
(Deipn. i. 10, p. 19) reproves Hero- 
dotus for ascribing the invention of 
games to the Lydians. The Greek 
board, &i3a(, or abacus, had five lines, 
sometimes twelve, like that of the 
Romans, whence duodecim scripta was 
the name they gave to their alveu^, or 
board, and the moves were sometimes 
decided by dice. 

Qreek dice, K^fioi, tessertB, were like 
our own, with six numbers — 6 and 1, 
5 and 2, 4 and 3, being generally on 
the opposite sides. Instead of two, 
they threw three dice, whence rpU 
l|, " three sizes," and Kv0ot was the 
" ace." Thoy were probably at first 
only numbered on four sides, whence 
the name, corrupted from r^a-a-tipa. 
This was the case with some astragali. 
the 2 and 5 being omitted (Jul. Poll. 
Onom. ix. 7), but these were usually 
without numbers, and were simply 
the original knuckle-bones of sheep. 
They wore also called " tali" and in 
playing wore generally five (whence 
irfyra\iOlC€iy)y a number, like the fire 

lines on the old Greek abacus, taken 
from the fingers of the hand. Some- 
times astragali were made, of the 
same form as the bone, of stone, metal, 
ivory, or glass ; and I have one of 
these last from Athens, which is only 
0} in. long. The game is represented 
in a painting found at Herculaneum, 
and in sculpture ; and Pliny (xxxiv. 
8) mentions a famous group in bronze 
by Polycletus, of two naked boys, 
called the astragalizontes, then in the 
Atrium of Titus, evidently the same 
subject represented in stone at the 
British Museum, the loser biting his 
companion's arm. The games of tali 
and tesseroB were chiefly confined to 
children, women, and old men (Cic. de 
Senect. 16, ed Par.). That of odd 
and even, **par et impart'* was 
thought still more puerile, and is com- 
pared by Horace to riding on a stick, 
or ''arundine long4" (Sat. ii. iii. 247). 
Beans, nuts, almonds, or coins were 
used in playing it ; and another game 
is mentioned by J. Pollux (ix. 7) of 
throwing coins or bones witlun a ring, 
or into a hole, called rp6wa. Odd and 
even, and the modem Italian mora, 
were very ancient Egyptian games. 
In the latter the Romans were said 
"micare digitis." Cicero, de Div. ii. 
says, " quid onim sors est ? idem pro- 
pemodum quod micare, quod talos 
jacere, quod tesseras ; and in Off. iii., 
that one with whom "m tenehris 
mices" for an honest man, had become 
a proverb. — [G. W.] 

Cbap.94,95. colonization OF TYRRHENIA. 223 

should be to remain behind ; the emigrants should have his 
son Tyrrhfenus for their leader. The lot was cast, and they 
who had to emigrate went down to Smyrna, and built them- 
selves ships,® in which, after they had put on board all needful 
stores, they sailed away in search of new homes and better 
sustenance. After sailing past many countries they came to 
Umbria,* where they built cities for themselves, and fixed 
their residence. Their former name of Lydians they laid 
aside, and called themselves after the name of the king's son, 
who led the colony, Tyrrhenians.^ 

96. Thus far I have been engaged in showing how the 
Lydians were brought under the Persian yoke. The course 
of my history now compels me to inquire who this Cyrus was 
by whom the Lydian empire was destroyed, and by what 
means the Persians had become the lords paramount of Asia. 
And herein I shall follow those Persian authorities whose 
object it appears to be not to magnify the exploits of Cyrus, 
but to relate the simple truth. I know besides three ways in 
which the story of Cyrus is told, all differing from my own 

The Assyrians had held the Empire of Upper Asia for the 
space of five hundred and twenty years,^ when the Medes set 

• Heeren undorstandA tin's imssago 
to Msert that the Lydians obtained 
resBels from the Greeks of Smyrna, 
and bnilda npon it the conclusion that 
the Lydians were at no time a sea- 
faring people. (Asiat. Nat. vol. i. 
p. 106. £. T.) But firixcufa(r9at has 
never the sense of procuring from 
another. Where it means procuring 
at all, it is always procuring by one's 
own skill and enterprise. (Cf . Sophocl. 
Phil. 295. Xen. Cyrop. in. ii. § 15.) 

• The Umbria of Herodotus, as Nic- 
bohr observes (Hist, of Rome, vol. i. 
p. 142. E. T.) *' is of large and inde- 
finite extent." It appears to include 
almost the whole of Northern Italy. 
It is from the region above the Um- 
brians that the Alpis and the Carpi's 
flow into the Danube (iv. 49). This 
would seem to assign to them the 

modem Lombardo- Venetian kingdom, 
and to place them on the Adriatic. 
The arrival of the Tyrrhenians on 
their shores extends them to the op- 
posite coast, and makes TuHcany also 
a part of their country. Herodotus 
knows of no Italian nat ions excojit the 
Tyrrhenians, the Umbrians, the Vene- 
tians (Heneti), the (Enotrians, and 
the Messapians. 

* The whole story of the Lydinn 
colonizati(m of Etruria is considered 
in tlio first Essay appended to this 

* The 520 years of Herodotus in 
this place undoubtedly represent the 
(more exact) 526 of Berosus. (Fr. 
11.) The entire subject of Assyrian 
Chronology is discussed in the Cntical 
Essays, Essay vii. 


the example of revolt from their authority. They took axms 
for the recovery of their freedom, and fought a battle with the 
AHsyrians, in which they behaved with such gallantry as to 
Hhako off the yoke of servitude, and to become a free people. 
Upon their success the other nations also revolted and regained 
their independence. 

96. Thus the nations over that whole extent of country 
obtained the blessing of self-government, but they fell again 
under the sway of kings, in the manner which I will now 
relate. There was a certain Mede named Deioces, son of 
Phraortos, a man of much wisdom, who had conceived the 
desire of obtaining to himself the sovereign power. In 
furtherance of his ambition, therefore, he formed and carried 
into execution the following scheme. As the Medes at that 
time dwelt in scattered villages without any central authority, 
and lawlessness in consequence prevailed throughout the land, 
Deioces, who was already a man of mark in his own village, 
applied himself with greater zeal and earnestness than ever 
Ivefore to the practice of justice among his fellows. It was his 
conviction that justice and injustice are engaged in perpetual 
war with one another. He therefore began this course of 
conduct, and presently the men of his village, observing his 
integrity, chose him to be the arbiter of all their disputes. 
Bent on obtainuig the sovereign power, he showed himself an 
honest and an upright judge, and by these means gained such 
credit with his fellow-citizens as to attract the attention of 
those who liveil in the surrounding villages. They had long 
heen suflfering from unjust and oppressive judgments; so 
that, when they heard of the singular uprightness of Deioces, 
and of the equity of his decisions, they joyfully had recourse 
to him in the various quarrels and suits that arose, until at 
last they came to put confidence in no one else. 

97. The number of complaints brought before him ccm- 
tinually increasing, as people learnt more and more the 
fairness of his judgments, Deioc<»^, feeling himself now all 
imp^^rtant, announced that he did not intend any longer to 

Ceap. 95-98. 



hear causes, and appeared no more in the seat in which he 
had been accustomed to sit and administer justice. '* It did 
not square with his interests," he said, ^'to spend the whole 
day in regulating other men's afifairs to the neglect of his 
own." Hereupon robbery and lawlessness broke out afresh, 
and prevailed through the country even more than hereto- 
fore; wherefore the Medes assembled from all quarters, and 
held a consultation on the state of afifairs. The speakers, as I 
think, were chiefly friends of Deioces. " We cannot possibly," 
they said, " go on living in this country if things continue as 
they now are ; let us therefore set a king over us, that so the 
land may be well governed, and we ourselves may be able to 
attend to our own afifairs, and not be forced to quit our 
country on account of anarchy." The assembly was persuaded 
by these arguments, and resolved to appoint a king. 

98. It followed to determine who should be chosen to the 
ofi&ce. When this debate began the claims of Deioces and his 
praises were at once in every mouth; so that presently all 
agreed that he should be king. Upon this he required a 
I)alace to be built for him suitable to his rank, and a guard to 
be given him for his person. The Medes complied, and built 
him a strong and large palace,^ on a spot which he himself 
pointed out, and Ukewise gave him liberty to choose himself a 
body-guard from the whole nation.* Thus settled upon the 

' The rojal palace at Agbatana is 
said by Poljbios to have been 7 stades 
(more than four-fifths of a mile) in 
oiicamference (x. xxvii. 9) ; bat his 
description refers probably to the 
capital of Media Magna, rather than 
to the (so-called) city of Deioces. 

* I cannot refrain from transcribing 
the excellent comment of Mr. Grote 
on this passage. He observes : — " Of 
the real history of Deioces we cannot 
be said to know anything; for the 
interesting narrative of Herodotns 
presents to ns in all points Grecian 
society and ideas, not Oriental : it is 
like the discussion which the historian 
ascribes to the seven Persian con- 

VOL, I, 

spirators, previous to the accession of 
Darius, whether they shall adopt an 
oligarchic€tl, a democratical, or a mon- 
arcliical form of government ; or it 
may be compared to the Cyropoodia of 
Xenophoo, who beautifully and elabo- 
rately works out an ideal which 
Herodotus exhibits in brief outline. 
The story of Deioces describes what 
may bo called the desjKit's progress, 
first as candidate, and afterwards as 
fully established . . . Deioces begins 
like a clever Greek among other 
Greeks, equal, free, and disorderly; 
he is athirst for despotism from the 
beginning, and is forward in manifest* 
ing his rectitude and jnstioe, *a8 



Book I. 

throne, he further required them to build a single great city, 
and, disregarding the petty towns in which they had formerly 
dwelt, make the new capital the object of their chief attention. 
The Medes were again obedient, and built the city now called 
Agbatana,* the walls of which are of great size and strength, 

beseems a candidate for command;' 
he passes into a despot bj the public 
vote, and receives what to the Greeks 
was the great symbol and instru- 
ment of such transition, a personal 
body-grnard; he ends by orji^nising 
both the machinery and the etiquette 
of a despotism in the Oriental fashion, 
like the Cyrus of Xenophon ; only that 
both these authors maintain the su- 
periority of their Grecian ideal over 
Oriental reality, by ascribing both to 
Deioces and Cyrus a just, systematic, 
and laborious administration, such as 
their own experience did not present 
to them in Asia." (Vol. iii. pp. SOT- 
SOS. See also Note * of the latter 

• I have retained the form Agba- 
tana, given by Herodotus, in place of 
the more usual Ecbatana of other 
authors, as being nearer to the Persian 
original, which (in the inscriptions) is 
Haigmat&na. (Behistun Inscrip. Col. 
n. Fftr. 13). It is curious that the 
Greeks should have caught the ortho- 
graphy so nearly, and yet have been 
so mistaken as to the accent of the 
word. There cannot be a doubt that 
the natives called the city Hagmat^n, 
according to the analogy of the 
modem Isfah&n, Teherdn, Hamadan, 
Behistun, &o, Tet the Greeks said 
Agb&tana, as is evident both from the 
quantity and the accent of the word. It 
18 written * Ay fidraya^ not* Ay fiardya, and 
in the poets the last three syllables 
are short. Of. ^sch. Pors. 16. Aris- 
toph. Acham. 64. 

[There is every reason to believe 
that the original form of the name 
Helleniscd as * Ay fidraya or 'EK^draya 
was Hagmatdn, and that it was of 
Arian etymology, having been first 
used by the Arian Modes. It would 
signify in the language of the country 
** the place of assemblage," being com- 

pounded of ham " with," and gama 
"to go." The Chaldajan form of 
Akhmatha, HnpnH which occurs in 
Ezra (vi. 2), may thus be regarded as 
a corruption of the Arian name. It 
may further be of interest to note 
that there is no trace of such a name 
among tlie Median cities enumerated 
in the inscriptions of Sargon, or in 
those of his Ruccessors, so that it ia 
pretty certain the capital described by 
Herodotus could not have been built 
until within a short period of the de- 
struction of Nineveh. — H. C. B.] 

Two descriptions of the town are 
worth comparing with that of Hero- 
dotus. In the second Fargard of the 
Yendidad, Jemshid, it is said, ''erected 
a Var, or fortress, sufficiently large, 
and formed of squared blocks of 
stone; ho assembled in the place a 
vast population, and stocked the sur- 
roundinc: country with cattle for their 
use. He caused the water of the 
great fortress to flow forth abundantly. 
And within the Var, or fortress, he 
erected a lofty palace, encompassed 
with walls, and laid it out in many 
separate divisions, and there was no 
high place, cither in front or rear, to 
command and overawe the fortress." 
(Zendavesta. Vendidad. Farg. ii.) 

The other description is more exact 
in its details. "Arphaxad," we are 
told in the book of Judith, " built in 
Ecbatana walls round about of stones 
hewn three cubits broad and six cubits 
long, and made the height of the wall 
seventy cubits, and the breadth there- 
of fifty cubits : and' set the towers 
thereof upon the gates of it, an 
hundred cubits high, and the breadth 
thereof in the foundation sixty cubits : 
and he made the gates thereof, even 
gates that were raised to the height 
of seventy cubits, and the breadth of 
them was forty cubits, for the going 

Gkap. 98. 



rising in circles one within the other. The plan of the place 
is, that each of the walls should out-top the one beyond it by 
the battlements. The nature of the ground, which is a gentle 
hill, favours this arrangement in some degree, but it was 
mainly e£Eected by art. The number of the circles is seven, 
the royal palace and the treasuries standing withm the last. 

forth of hit armioB, and for the set- 
ting in array of his footmen.'* (i. 2-4). 
Gol. Bawlinson long sinoe published 
Ins opinion that the site of the Agha- 
tana ascribed to Deiooes was at Takhti- 
Solelmin, in Media Atrijpatdn^. The 
natore of the situation, and its geo- 
graphical position, are far more in 
aococdanoe with the notices of Agba- 
tana contained in Herodotas, than 
those of Hamadfa, the Agbatana of 

later times. The oonntiy to the north 
of Agbatana towards the Enxine, 
Herodotos sajs, is very moantainous. 
and covered wi th forests (i . 1 10) . This 
is tme and pertinent if said of Takhti- 
Soleuniin, bat either nntme or nn- 
meaning if said of Hamadan, which is 
far removed from the Enxine, and is 
in the more level part of the ancient 
Media. Again, the southern Ecba* 
tana was situated on the dcclivitj of 


Plan of Ecbatana. 


& AariMtBidUlafivititAiiltoii 
4. B^MiftWFftbMoTAkdtyi 

the great mountain of Orontes (the 
modem Elwend) which could not pos- 
sibly be called a icoA.»y^5, and which 
does not admit of being fortified in 
the mode described by HerodotuH; 
whereas the conical hill of Takhti - 
Solelmin, with its remains of walls and 

6. Cematerf. 

i. Ridc*of RMkoklUd "th«Dnc»B." 

7. HitlaoaUad "TkwUBh," or "IhtSli 

other ruins, very nearly corresponds to 
the description of our author. (See 
the subjoined plan.) The whole sub- 
ject is fully treated in a paper com- 
municated by Colonel Rawlinson to 
the Geographical Society, and published 
in their Journal. Vol. x. Part i. Art. i. 



Book L 

The circuit of the outer wall is very nearly the same with that 
of Mhens. Of this wall the battlements are white,® of the next 

Sirs Nimnid, Babylon. 

[One of the most important argu. 
ments in favour of the identification of 
Takhti.SoIeim&n with the ancient Ag- 
batana, is the fact that Moses of 
Choren^, in speaking of the citj which 
then occnpied the site in qnestion, and 
which was usually named Qcmzac 
Shahasdauj calls it specifically "the 
second Ecbatana, or the seven -walled 
citv." Mos. Chor. ii. 84.— H. 0. R.] 

^ " This is manifestly a fable of 
SabsBan origin, the seven colours men- 
tioned by Herodotus being precisely 
those employed by the Orientals to 
denote the seven great heavenly bodies, 

or the seven climates in which they 
revolve. Thus Nizami, in his poem of 
the Heft Pe'iher, describes a seven- 
bodied palace, built by Bahra?! Gdr, 
nearly in the same terms as Hero- 
dotus. The palace dedicated to Sa. 
turn, he says, was black — that of 
Jupiter orange, or more strictly 
sandal-wood colour (Sandali) — of Mars, 
scarlet — of the sun, golden — of Venus, 
white — of Mercury, azure — and of the 
moon, green — a hue which is applied 
by the Orientals to silver." (Journal 
of Geogr. Soc. vol. x. Eart i p. 172.). 
The great temple of Ncbuohadnezsur 

Chap. 96, 99. 



black, of the third scarlet, of the fourth blue, of the fifth 
orange ; all these are coloured with paint. The two last have 
their battlements coated respectively with silver and gold.^ 

99. All these fortifications Deioces caused to be raised for 
himself and his own palace. The people were required to 

at Bonippa (the modem BirsU.Nim- 
rvd) was a bmlding in seven platforms 
ookmred in a similar way. Herodotus 
has deranged the order of the coloars, 
which ought to be either that depend- 
ent on the planetary distances, "black, 
cnange, scarlet, gold, white, blue, sil- 
Ter/' as at the Bir8,or " black, white, 
oimnge, bine, scarlet, silver, gold," if 
the Ofder of the days dedicated to 
the planets were taken. It may be 
mispeoted that Herodotos had received 
the nnmbers in the latter order, and 
accidentally reversed the places of 
black and white, and of scarlet and 

OT Mlg e. 

[Tbere is, however, no evidence to 
■how that the Medes, or even the 
Babykmians, were acquainted with 
that order of the planets which regu- 
lated the nomenclature of the days of 
the week. The series in question, 
indeed, must have originated with a 
people who divided the day and night 
into 60 hours instead of 24; and, as 
far as we know at present, this system 
of horary division was peculiar iu 
ancient times to the Hindoo calendar. 
The method by which the order is 
eliminated is simply as follows : — The 
planets in due succession from the 
Moon to Saturn were supposed to rule 
the hours of the day in a recurring 
series of sevens, and the day was 
named after the planet who happened 
to be the regent of the first hour. If 
we assign then the first hour of the first 
day to the Moon, we find that the 61i>t 
hour, which commenced the second 
day, belonged to the 5th planet, or 
Mars; the 12l8t hour to the 2nd, or 
Mercury; the 181st to the 6th, or 
Jupiter; the 241st to the 3rd, or 
Venus; the 301st to the 7th, or Saturn ; 
and the 36l8t to the 4th, or the San. 
The popular belief (which first a^)- 
pears in Dion Cassias) that tho series 

in question refers to a horary division 
of 24 is incorrect ; for in that case, 
although the order is the same, the 
succession is inverted. One thing in- 
deed seems to be certain, that if the 
Chaldseans were the inventors of the 
hebdomadal nomenclature, they mu&t 
have borrowed their earliest astro- 
nomical science from the same source 
which supplied the Hindoos; for it 
could not have been by accident that 
a horary division of 60 was adopted 
by both races.— H. C. R.] 

^ There is reason to believe that 
this account, though it may be greatly 
exaggerated, is not devoid of a founda. 
tion. The temple at Borsippa (see the 
preceding note) appears to have 
had its fourth and seventh stages 
actually coated with gold and silver 
respectively. And it seems certain 
that there was often in Oriental 
towns a most lavish display of the 
two precious metals. The sober Poly- 
bius relates that, at tlio southern 
Agbatana, the capital of Media Magna, 
the entire Woodwork of tho royal 
palace, including beams, ceilings, and 
pillars, was covered with plates either 
of ^old or silver, and that tho whole 
building was roofed with silver tiles. 
The toinj)le of Anaitus was adorned 
in a similar way. (Polyb. x. xxvii. § 
10-12.). Consequently, though Da- 
rius, when he rotreat<;d before Alexan- 
der, carried off from Media, gold and 
silver to the amount of 7000 talents 
(more than l,70O,O0OL), and though 
tho town was largely plundered by 
the soldiers of Alexander and of Selou- 
cus Nicator, still there remained tiles 
and plating enough to produce to 
Antiochus the Great on his occupation 
of the place a sum of very nearly 
4000 talents, or 975,000/. sterling! 
(See Arrian. Exp. Alex. iii. 19. Polyb. 
1. 8. c.) 



Book I. 

build their dwellings outside the circuit of the walls. When 
the town was finished, he proceeded to arrange the ceremonial. 
He allowed no one to have direct access to the person of the 
king, but made all communication pass through the hands of 
messengers, and forbade the king to be seen by his subjects. 
He also made it an offence for any one whatsoever to laugh or 
spit in the royal presence. This ceremonial, of which he was 
the first inventor, Deioces established for his own security, 
fearing that his compeers, who were brought up together with 
him, and were^ of as good family as he, and no whit inferior to 
him in manly qualities, if they saw him frequently would be 
pained at the sight, and would therefore be likely to conspire 
against him; whereas if they did not see him, they would 
think him quite a different sort of being from themselves. 

100. After completing these arrangements, and firmly 
settling himself upon the throne, Deioces continued to 
administer justice with the same strictness as before. Causes 
were stated in writing, and sent in to the king, who passed his 
judgment upon the contents, and transmitted his decisions 
to the parties concerned: besides which he had spies and 
eavesdroppers in all parts of his dominions, and if he heard of 
any act of oppression, he sent for the guilty party, and 
awarded him the pimishment meet for his offence. 

101. Thus Deioces collected the Medes into a nation, and 
ruled over them alone. Now these are the tribes of which 
they cdnsist : the Bussb, the Paretaceni, the Struchates, the 
Arizanti, the Budii, and the Magi.® 

102. Having reigned three-and-fifty years, Deioces was at 
his death succeeded by his son Phraortes. This prince, not 
satisfied with a dominion which did not extend beyond the 
single nation of the Medes, began by attacking the Persians ; 

^ Mr. Groto speaks of the Median 
tribes as coinciding in number with the 
fortified circles in the toion of Agba- 
tana, and thence concludes that Hero- 
dotus conceived the seven circles as 
intended each for a distinct tribo 
(Hist, of Greece, vol. iii. p. 306). Bat 

the number of the Median tribes is 
not seven but six ; and the circles are 
not in the fouti, but around the palace. 
Herodotus says expressly that the 
people dwelt outside the outermost 

Chap. 99-108. 



and marching an army into their comitry, brought them mider 
the Median yoke before any other people. After this success, 
being now at the head of two nations, both of them powerful, 
he proceeded to conquer Asia, overrunning province after 
province. At last he engaged in war with the Assyrians, — 
those Assyrians, I mean, to whom Nineveh belonged,^ who 
were formerly the lords of Asia. At present they stood alone 
by the revolt and desertion of their allies, yet still their 
internal condition was as flourishing as ever. Fhraortes 
attacked them, but perished in the expedition with the greater 
part of his army, after having reigned over the Medes two- 
and-twenty years. 

103. On the death of Fhraortes * his son Cyaxares ascended 
the throne. Of him it is reported that he was still more war- 
like than any of his ancestors, and that he was the first who 
gave organization to an Asiatic army, dividing the troops into 

* Herodotus iotendB here to distin- 
ffiUBh the Awyrians of Assjria Proper 
TTCBX the BabjIonianB, whom he calls 
ftlso AMyrians (i. 178, 188, &c.). 
AgMDst the latter he mcaDs to say 
tlus expedition was not directed. 

* Phraortes has been thought by 
■ome to be the Arphaxad of tho Book 
of Jodith. A fanciful resemblance be. 
tween the names, and tho fact that 
Phraortes is the only Median monarch 
said bj any historian of repute to have 
been iJain in battle with the Assyrians, 
are the sole grounds for this identifi. 
cation. But the Book of Judith is a 
pare historical romance, which ono is 
sorprieed to find critical writers at tho 
present day treating as serious. (See 
Clinton's F. H., vol. i. p. 275 ; Bosun- 
qoet*8 Fall of Niveveh, p. 16.) The 
following are a few of the anomalies 
which condemn it. 

The Jews are recently returned from 
the captivity (ch. iv. ver. 13, 18-19). 
Joacim (Joiakim) is the High Priest. 
He was the son of Jcshuah, and con- 
temporary with Ezra and Nchcuiioh 
(Neh. xii. 10-26). The date of the 
events narrated should therefore bo 
about B.C. 460-80, in the reign of 

Artaxerxes Longimanus. Yet, 1. Nine- 
veh is standing, and is the capital of 
Nabuchodonosor's kingdom (i. 1). 2. 
Assyria is the great monarchy of the 
time (i. 7-10). 3. Persia is subject 
to Assyria (i. 7). 4. Egypt is also 
subject (i. 9-10). Media, however, 
is an independent kingdom under Ar- 
phaxad, who as the builder of the 
wall of Ecbatana should be Deioces 
or Cyaxares. 

The book appears to be the work of 
a thoroughly Hellcnized Jew, and 
could not therefore have been written 
before the time of Alexander. It is 
a mere romance, and ^as been assigned 
with much probability to the reign of 
Antiochus Epiphancs ((jrotius in the 
Preface to his Annotations on the 
Book of Judith ; Works, vol. i. p. 578). 
It has many purely Greek ideas in it, 
as the mention of the Giants, the sons 
of the Titans (ch. xvi. ver. 7), and the 
crowning with the chaplet of olive (ch. 
XV. ver. 13). Probably also the no- 
tion of a demand for earth and water 
(ii. 7) came to the writer from his 
acquaintance with Greek histor}'. At 
least there is no trace of its having 
been an Assyrian custom. 



Book I. 

Companies, and forming distinct bodies of the spearmen, the 
archers, and the cavahy, who before his time had been mingled 
in one mass, and confused together. He it was who fought 
against the Lydians on the occasion when the day was changed 
suddenly into night, and who brought under his dominion the 
whole of Asia beyond the Halys.^ This prince, collecting 
together all the nations which owned his sway, marched 
against Nineveh, resolved to avenge his father, and cherishing 
a hope that he might succeed in taking the town. A battle 
was fought, in which the Assyrians suffered a defeat, and 
Cyaxares had already begun the siege of the place, when 
a numerous horde of Scyths, under their king Madyes,® son 
of Protothyes, burst into Asia in pursuit of the Cimmerians 
whom they had driven out of Europe, and entered the 
Median territory. 

104. The distance from the Palus MsBotis to the river Phasis 
and the Colchians is thirty days' journey for a lightly 
equipped traveller.* From Colchis to cross into Media does 

' Vide Bupra, chapter 74. 

• According to Strabo, Madys, or 
Hadjes, was a Cimmerian prince who 
drove the Treres out of Asia (i.p. 91). 
The true nature of the Scythian war of 
Cyaxares is considered in the Critical 
Essays, Essay iii. § 9. [The Sacso or 
Scythians, who were termed Gimiri 
(the tribes?) by their Semitic neigh- 
bours, first appeared in the Cuneiform 
inscriptions as a substantive people 
under Esar-Haddon in about B.C. 684. 
They were at that time in the Kur- 
dish mountains, and were ruled over 
by a king, Teuspa, whose name be- 
trays his Arian descent. The Gimiri 
had considerably increased in power 
under the reign of Esar-Haddon's son 
(about B.C. 670), and seem to have 
been already threatening the Assyrian 
frontier.— H. C. R.] 

^ From the mouth of the Palus 
Heedtis, or Sea of Azof, to the river 
Rion (the ancient Phasis) is a distance 
of about 270 geographical miles, or 
but little more than the distance 

(2-40 geog. miles) from the gulf of 
Issus to the Eaxine, which was called 
(ch. 72) "a journey of Jive days for a 
lightly equipped traveller." We may 
Icam from this that Herodotus did 
not intend the day's journey for a 
measure of length. He related the 
reports which had reached him. He 
was told that a man might cross from 
Issus to the Black Sea in five days, 
which perhaps was possible, and that 
it would take a month to reach the 
Sea of Azof from Colchis, which, con- 
sidering the enormous difficulties of 
the route, is not improbable. It is 
questionable whether the coast line 
can ever have been practicable at all. 
If not, the communication must have 
been circuitous, and have included 
the passage of the Caucasus, either 
by the well-known Pyla3 Caucaseaa 
between Titiis and Mozdok, or by 
some unknown pass west of that route, 
of still greater altitude and difficulty. 
In ^j0hfr case the journey might well 
occupy 30 days. 

Chap. 108-lOS. 



not take long — ^there is only a single interrening nation, the 
Saspirians/ passing whom you find yourself in Media. This, 
however, was not the road followed by the Scythians, who 
turned out of the straight course, and took the upper route, 
which is much longer, keeping the Caucasus upon their right .• 
The Scythians, having thus invaded Media, were opposed by 
the Medes, who gave them battle, but, being defeated, lost 
their empire. The Scythians became masters of Asia. 

105. After this they marched forward with the design of 
invading Egypt. When they had reached Palestine, however, 
Psammetichus, the Egyptian king,^ met them with gifts and 
prayers, and prevailed on them to advance no further. On 
their return, passing through Ascalon, a city of Syria,® the 

' The Saspirians are mentioned 
again as lying north of Media (ch. 
110), and as separating Mijjea from 
Colchis (iv. 37). They are joined with 
the Matidni and the Alarodii in the 
satrapies of Darins (iii. d4), with the 
Alarodii and the Colchians in the 
arm J of Xerxes (vii. 79). They appear 
to have occapied the upper valleys of 
the Kur (Cyms) and its tributary 
streams, or nearly the modem Russian 
province of Geoi*gia. Hitter (Erd- 
kande von Asien, vol. vL p. 92) con. 
jectores their identity with the 
Saparda of the monuments. They 
are perhaps the same as the later 
Iberi, with whom their name will con- 
nect etymolog^cally, especially if wo 
consider Sapiri to be the true form. 
(2^cipoi, 2(^cipoi, "Ifiripou) They pro. 
bably belonged, ethnically, to the 
same family as the ancient Armenians. 
(See the Critical Essays, Essay xi., On 
the Ethnic Affinities of the Nations of 
Western Asia.) 

• Herodotus, clearly, conceives the 
Cimmerians to have coasted the Block 
Sea, and appears to have thought 
that the Scythians entered Asia by 
the route of Daghestan, along the 
shores of the Caspian. He does not 
seem to have been aware of the exist- 
ence of the PylsD Caucasea). As the 
eastern shore of the Black Sea is cer- 
tainly impracticable for an army, the 

Cimmerians, if they entered Asia by a 
track west of that said to have been 
followed by the Scythians, can only 
have gained admittance by the Pylae. 

It is always to be borne in mind 
that there are but two known routes 
by which the CancaFus can be 
crossed, that of Mozdok, traversed by 
Ker Porter in 1817, which is kept 
open by Russian military posts, and 
still forms the regular line of com- 
munication between Russia and the 
trans -Caucasian provinces, and that of 
Daghestan or Dcrbond along the 
western shores of the Caspian, which, 
according to De Hell, is " much more 
impracticable than that by Mozdok." 
(Travels, p. 323, note. Eng. Tr.) This 
latter assertion mnfj hnirnrnnj ■ b» ^ . ^ 
i»as«tiiiiiil. d fnU: 40rr,-f ^ UcyJ. •r»^ P 

7 According to Herodotus, Psam- 
metichus was engaged for 29 years in 
the siege of Az6tus (Ashdod), ii. 157. 
This would account for his meeting 
the Scythians in Syria. 

[Justin (ii. 3) speaks of an Egyptian 
king, Vcxoris, who retired from before 
the iScythians, when Egypt was only 
saved by its marshes from invasion. 
The name Vcxoris must be Bocchoris, 
though the sera assigned to Vcxoris 
docs not agree with his. — G. W.] 

® Ascalon was one of the most 
ancient cities of the Philistines 
(Judges i. 18, xiv. 19, Ac). Accord- 



greater part of them went their way without doing any 
damage ; but some few who lagged behind pillaged the temple 
of Celestial Venus.* I have inquired and find that the temple 
at Ascalon is the most ancient of all the temples to this god- 
dess; for the one in Cyprus, as the Cyprians themselves 
admit, was built in imitation of it ; and that in Cythera was 
erected by the Phoenicians, who belong to this part of Syria. 
The Scythians who plundered the temple were punished by the 
goddess with the female sickness,^ which still attaches to their 
posterity. They themselves confess that they are afflicted 
with the disease for this reason, and travellers who visit 
Scythia can see what sort of a disease it is. Those who 
suffer from it are called Enarees.^ 

106. The dominion of the Scythians over Asia lasted eight- 
and-twenty years, during which time their insolence and 
oppression spread ruin on every side. For besides the regular 
tribute, they exacted from the several nations additional im- 
posts, which they fixed at pleasure ; and further, they scoured 

ing to Xanthns it was founded by a 
certain Ascnlns, the general of a 
Lydian king (Fr. 23.) ; but this is 
very improbable. It lay on the coast 
between Ashdod and Gaza, and was 
distant about 40 miles from Jemsalcm 
(cf . Scyl. Peripl. p. 102 ; Strab. xvi. p. 
1079; Plin. H. N., v. 13, Ac). By Stra- 
bo's time it had become a place of 
small consequence. At the era of the 
Crdfiltdes it rtfWved, but is now again 
little more thfm'a village. It I'e&LinB 
its ancient name almost unchansrcd. 

[Ascalon is first mentioned in Cunei- 
form inscriptions of the tinac of Sen- 
nacherib, having been reduced by him 
in the famous campaign of his third 
year.— H. C. R.] 

• Herodotus probably intends the 
S3rrian goddess Atergatis, or Derceto, 
who was worshipped at Ascalon, and 
elsewhere in Syria, under the form of 
a mermaid, or figure half woman half 
fish (cf. Xanth. Fr. 11, Plin. H. N., v. 
23, Strab. xvi. p. 1062, 1113, Ac.) Her 
temple at Ascalon is mentioned by 
Died. Sic. (ii. 4). She may be identi- 

ficd with Astart^, and therefore with 
the Venus of the Greeks (cf. Selden 
De Diis Syris, Syntagm. II. oh. iii.) 

* This malady is thus described by 
Hippocrates, a younger contemporary 
of Herodotus, who himself visited 
Scythia : — ** cvkovxmu ylyovrouj irol 71;- 
KatKcux 4pyd(ovrUf iral iis al yvvaucts 
1iia\4yoyrcu re Sfioltts KaXtvvral re ol 
ToioDroi iu^otyHpifTi,** (De Aer. Aq. et 
liOC. ch. vi. § 108.) This impotency 
Hippocrates ascribes to venesection, 
but he mentions that the natives be- 
lieved it to be a judgment from the 
gods. It is said that traces of the 
disease are still found among the 
inhabitants of Southern Russia. See 
Potock (Histoire Primitive des Pou- 
ples de la Rnssie, p. 175) and Rcineggs 
(Allgem. topograph. Beschreib. d. 
Caucas. I. p. 269). 

* Bahr (in loc.) regards this word as 
Greek, and connects it with ivaipto and 
Kvap(L, giving it the hense of " virilitate 
spoliati ; " but I agree with Larcher 
and Blakesley that it is in all pro- 
bability Scythic. 

Chap. 105, 106. 



the country and plundered every one of whatever they could. 
At length Gyaxares and the Medes invited the greater part of 
them to a banquet, and made them drunk with wine, after 
which they were all massacred. The Medes then recovered 
their empire, and had the same extent of dominion as before. 
They took Nineveh — I will relate how in another history® — 

' The qnestion whether the 'Aaa&piot 
Kiyoi^ promiBed here, and again in 
chapter 184, were ever written or no, 
has long engaged the attention of the 
learned. Isaac Voss, Des Yig^oles, 
Bonhier (Recherches, ch. i. p. 7), and 
Larcher (in loc.), have maintained the 
affirmative; Bihr, Fabricius, Gerard 
Toss, Dahlmann, and J&ger (Disput. 
Herodot. p. 15) the negative. The 
passage of Aristotle (Hist. An. YIII. 
xviii.) which affirms that Herodotus, 
in his account of the siege of Ninoveh, 
represented an eagle as drinking, 
woold be decisive of the question if 
the reading were certain. But some 
M8S. have "*Haio^os ^6*1 rovro.*' 
There are, however, several objections 
to this reading. For, 1. Hesiod, ac- 
cording to the best authorities, died 
before the siege of Nineveh. 2. 
Neither he, nor any writer of his age, 
composed poems on historical subjects. 
8. lliere is no known work of Hesiod 
in which such a subject as the siege of 
Nineveh could well have been men- 
tioned. On the other hand the siege 
of that city is exactly one of the 
events of which Herodotus had pro- 
mised to make mention in his Assy- 
rian annals. These are strong grounds 
for preferring the reading of 'Hp66oros 
to that of *Haio9os in the disputed 
passage. It is certainly remarkable 
that no other distinct citation from 
the work is to be found among the 
remains of antiquity, and Larcher 
appears right in concluding from this 
that the work perished early, prob- 
ably, however, not before the time of 
Cephalion (b.c. 120), who is said by 
Synoellus (i. p. 315, ed. Dindorf.) to 
have followed Hellanicus, Ctesiaa. and 
Herodotus in his Assyrian history. 
IVom Cephalion may have come those 

curious notices in John of Halala (ed. 
Dind. p. 26) concerning the Scythio 
character of the dress, language, and 
laws of the Parthians, which are ex- 
pressly ascribed by him to Herodotus, 
but do not appear in the work of Hero- 
dotus which has come down to us. 

The following quotations from Hero- 
dotus, not found in his extant work, 
may also have come from the * As- 
syrian History.' (Died. Sic. ii. 32, and 
Schol. in Hom. H. xx. 392.) 

Since the first edition of this 
volume was published, another scholar, 
whose opinion possesses great weight, 
has pronounced against the reading of 
'HpAoros in the passage of Aristotle 
above quoted. Admitting fully that 
the reading 'HaloZos cannot possibly 
stand, Sir Comewall Lewis argues 
tliat a poet, and not a prose writer 
must have been quoted. (See * Notes 
and Queries,' No. 213, p. 67.) The 
entire passage runs as follows ; — iAA* 
*Hp6ioTos iiyy6€i rovro' irtiroiriKf ykp 
rhy rrjs fuurrflas irp6tZpov ktrhv iv r^ 
8*i77^<rc4 rf trtpi r^y •woKiopKiay r^v filyov 
trivovTo. Sir C. Lewis thinks that the 
word irnroiiiKij and the expression rhv 
T^j ficurrtias irp6(^poyj " imply a quota- 
tion from a poet," and he suggests 
that a poet actually named by Aris- 
totle was Chcorilus (Xoiplkos). It is of 
course possible that the name ori- 
ginally written may have been alto- 
gether lost, and that both the MS. 
readings may be wrong ; bat before we 
cut the Gordian knot in this bold way, 
wo ought to bo (juite sure that our objec- 
tions to both readings are valid ones. It 
docs not seem to mo at all improbable 
that Aristotle may have used the word 
•wfirolriKt in this place of a prose writer, 
in the sense of "fabled" or " repre- 
sented fabulously." (See Scalig^r's 



Book T. 

and conquered all Assyria except the district of Babylonia. 
After this Cyaxares died, having reigned over the Medes, if we 
include the time of the Scythian rule, forty years. 

107. Astyages, the son of Cyaxares, succeeded to the throne. 
fle had a daughter who was named Mandane, concerning 
whom he had a wonderful dream. He dreamt that from her 
such a stream of water flowed forth as not only to fill his 
capital, but to flood the whole of Asia.* This vision he laid 
before suqh of the Magi as had the gift of interpreting dreams, 
who expounded its meaning to him in full, whereat he was 
greatly terrified. On this account, when his daughter was 
now of ripe age, he would not give her in marriage to any of 
the Medes who were of suitable rank, lest the dream should 
be accomplished ; but he married her to a Persian of good 
family indeed,^ but of a quiet temper, whom he looked on 
as much inferior to a Mede of even middle condition. 

note on the place.) And the expres- 
sion, fiayrtlas irp6t9poy, is certainly not 
more poetical than many which Hero, 
dotns uses in his " Histories," even in 
Ihe plain narrative ; besides which it 
may have occurred in an oracle. It is 
worthy of notice that Aristotle else- 
where takes the trouble to correct a 
mistake made by Herodotus in Natu- 
ral History (see note on Book iii. ch. 
108), evidently regarding the asf$er. 
tions of so painstaking an observer as 
worth notice; but he would scarcely 
make it his business to correct the 
endless misstatements of poets upon 
such matters. 

^ Nicolas of Damascus assigns this 
dream to Argoste, who, according to 
him, was the mother of Cyrus. (Fragm. 
Hist. Gr. III. p. 399, Fr. 66.) 

' Cambyses, the father of Cyrus, ap- 
pears to have been not only a man of 
good family, but of royal race — the 
hereditary monarch of his nation, 
which, when it became subject to the 
Medes, still retained its line of native 
kings, the descendants of Achaemenes 
(Hakhimanish). In the Behistun In- 
■oription (col. 1, par. 4) Darius carries 

up his genealogy to AchsQmenes, and 
asseits that "eight of his race had 
been kings before himself — he was the 
ninth." Cambyses, the father of 
Cyrus, Cyrus himself, and Cambyses 
the son of Cyrus, are probably in- 
cluded in the eight. Thus Xenophon 
(Cyrop. I. ii. 1) is right for once, when 
ho says, ** Uarphs A^ctoi 6 Kvpos ytyt- 
aOai KofifivaoVf Tl€p<r&yfia<riK4u s.** 

[An inscription has been recently 
found upon a brick at Senkereh in 
lower Chaldaoa, in which Cyrus the 
Great calls himself " the son of CaQi. 
byses, the powerful king." This then 
is decisive as to the royalty of the 
line of Cyrus the Great, and is con- 
firmatory of the impression derived 
from other evidence, that when Darius 
speaks of eight Achsemenian kings 
having preceded him, he alludes to 
the ancestry of Cyrus the Great, and 
not to his own immediate paternal 
line. See note to the w^ord " Ach®- 
menida5" in ch. 125.— H. C. R.] 

When -aischylus (Pers. 765-785) 
makes Darius the sixth of his line, he 
counts from Cyaxares, the founder of 
the great monarchy co-extensive vnth 

Chap. 106-106. 



^ 108. Thus Cambyses (for so was the Persian called) wedded 
Mandane,® and took her to his home, after which, in the very 
first year, Astyages saw another vision. He fancied that a 
vine grew from the womb of his daughter, and overshadowed 
the whole of Asia. After this dream, which he submitted also 
to the interpreters, he sent to Persia and fetched away Man- 
dan^, who was now with child, and was not far from her time. 
On her arrival he set a watch over her, intending to destroy 
the child to which she should give birth; for the Magian 
interpreters had expounded the vision to foreshow that the 
offspring of his daughter would reign over Asia in his stead. 
To guard against this, Astyages, as soon as Cyrus was bom, 
sent for Harpagus, a man of his own house and the most 
faithful of the Medes, to whom he was wont to entrust all his 
affairs, and addressed him thus — '* Harpagus, I beseech thee 
neglect not the business with which I am about to charge thee ; 
neither betray thou the interests of thy lord for others' sake, 
lest thou bring destruction on thine own head at some future 
time. Take the child bom of Mandane my daughter ; carry 
him with thee to thy home and slay him there. Then bury 
him as thou wilt." " Oh ! king," replied the other, " never in 
time past did Harpagus disoblige thee in anything, and be 

Asia (ci^ &y8f>* awdffrjs 'A<rtSos 
/aiXorpi^v Toyfii'), to which Darius 
had succeeded. The first king (MfjZos 
— ^ wpSros ^cfiAy trrparov) is Cy ax- 
ares, the next (iKtirov iroTs) Astyages, 
the third Cyms, the fonrth (Kvpou 
«uf) Cambyses, the fifth Smerdis the 
Mage (Mdp9of—aiffx^ itirptf). There 
is no discrepancy at all (as Mr. Grote 
appears to imagine, vol. iv. p. 248) 
between the accounts of ^schylus 
and Herodotus. 

• Whether there was really any con- 
nexion of blood between Cyrus and 
Astyages, or whether (as Ctesias as- 
serted, Persic. Excerpt. § 2) they were 
no way related to one another, wUl 
perhaps never be determined. That 
Astyages should marry his daughter 
to the tributary Persian king is in 

itself probable cnouji^h ; but tlie Medes 
would be likely to invent such a tale, 
even without any foundation for it, 
just as the Egyptians did with respect 
to Cambyses their conqueror, who 
was, according to them, the son of 
Cyrus by Nitfitis, a daughter of Apries 
(vid. infr. iii. 2) ; or as both the Egypt- 
ians and the later Persians did with re- 
gard to Alexander, who was called by 
the former the son of Nectanebus 
(Mgs. Chor. ii. 12) ; and who is boldly 
claimed by the latter, in the Shah- 
Nameh, as the son of D&rab, king of 
Persia, by a daughter of Failakus 
(^ikunrosy ^ikiKKos, Failakus) king of 
Macedon. The vanity of the con- 
quered race is soothed by the belief 
that the conqueror is not altogether a 



Book I. 

sure that through all future time he will be careful in nothing 
to offend. If therefore it be thy will that this thing be done, 
it is for me to serve thee with all diligence." 

109. When Harpagus had thus answered, the child was 
given into his hands, clothed in the garb of death, and he 
hastened weeping to his home. There on his arrival he found 
his wife, to whom he told all that Astyages had said. '' What 
then," said she, ** is it now in thy heart to do ? " " Not what 
Astyages requires," he answered ; " no, he may be madder and 
more frantic still than he is now, but I will not be the man to 
work his will, or lend a helping hand to such a murder as this. 
Many things forbid my slaying him. In the first place the 
boy is my own kith and kin ; and next, Astyages is old, and 
has no son.^ If then when he dies the crown should go to his 
daughter — that daughter whose child he now wishes to slay by 
my hand — what remains for me but danger of the fearfidlest 
kind ? For my own safety, indeed, the child must die ; but 
some one belonging to Astyages must take his life, not I or 

110. So saying he sent off a messenger to fetch a certain 
Mitradates,® one of the herdsmen of Astyages, whose pastur- 
ages he knew to be the fittest for his purpose, lying as they did 
among mountains infested with wild beasts. This man was 

'Xenophon (Cyrop. I. iv. § 20) 
gives ABtya^s a son, whom he calls 
Gjaxares. The inscriptions tend to 
oonfirm Herodotus; for when Fra- 
itfarUsh (Phraortes) claims the crown 
in right of his descent, it is not as son 
of Astyages, bnt as " descended from 
Gjaxares." He goes back to the 
founder of the monarchy, as if the 
line of Astyages had become extinct. 
(See Behist. Ins. col. 2, par. 5.) 

^ Ctesias seems to hare called this 
person Atradates. There can be little 
doabt that the long narrative in 
Kioolas of Damascus (FraGrm. Hist. 
Groc., vol. iii. p. 397-406) came 
from him. According to this, Cyrus 
was the son of a certain Atradates, 
m Mardian, whom poverty had driven 

to become a robber, and of Argost^ 
(qy. Artost^ ?), a woman who kept 
goats. He took service under some 
of the menials employed about the 
palace of Astyages, and rose to be the 
king's cupbearer. By degrees he 
grew into such favour that Astyages 
made his father satrap of Persia, and 
entrusted all matters of importance to 

[Atradates may fairly be considered 
to be a mere Median synonym for the 
Persian Mitradates— the name signi- 
fying '* given to the sun," and Atra or 
Adar (whence Atropat^ne) being equi- 
valent in Median, as a title of that 
luminary (or of fire, which was the 
usual emblem of his worship) to the 
Persian Mitra or Mihr.—R. C. R.] 



married to one of the king's female slaves, whose Median 
name was Spaco, which is in Greek Cyno, since in the Median 
tongue the word " Spaca " means a bitch.* The mountains, 
on the skirts of which his cattle grazed, lie to the north of 
Agbatana, towards the Euxine. That part of Media which 
borders on the Saspirians is an elevated tract, very moun- 
tainous, and covered with forests, while the rest of the Median 
territory is entirely level ground. On the arrival of the herds- 
man, who came at the hasty summons, Harpagus said to him 
— " Astyages requires thee to take this child and lay him in 
the wildest part of the hiUs, where he will be sure to die 
speedily. And he bade me tell thee, that if thou dost not kill 
the boy, but anyhow allowest him to escape, he will put thee 
to the most painful of deaths. I myself am appointed to see 
the child exposed." 

111. The herdsman on hearing this took the child in his 
arms, and went back the way he had come till he had reached 
the folds. There, providentially, his wife, who had been ex- 
pecting daily to be put to bed, had just, during the absence of 
her husband, been delivered of a child. Both the herdsman 
and his wife were uneasy on each other's account, the former 
fearful because his wife was so near her time, the woman 
alarmed because it was a new thing for her husband to be 
sent for by Harpagus. When therefore he came into the 
house upon his return, his wife, seeing him arrive so unex- 
pectedly, was the first to speak, and begged to know why 
Harpagus had sent for him in such a hurry. " Wife,'* said he, 
** when I got to the town I saw and heard such things as I 
would to heaven I had never seen — such things as I would 
to heaven had never happened to our masters. Every one 
was weeping in Harpagus's house. It quite frightened me. 

• A root ** spak " or " svak " is com- 
mon for ** dog " in tbe IndcEnropean 
langoages. It occurs in Sanscrit and 
2iend, in Bassian ander the form of 
c,*' and in some parts of modem 

Persia as " aspaka." The word seems 
to bo an instance of onomatopoeia. 
(Compare the English ** bow-wow " 
and " bark,") 


but I went in. The moment I stepped inside, what should 
I see but a baby lying on the floor, panting and whimpering, 
and all covered with gold, and wrapped in clothes of such 
beautiful colours. Harpagus saw me, and directly ordered me 
to take the child in my arms and carry him off, and what 
was I to do with him, think you ? Why, to lay him in the 
mountains, where the wild beasts are most plentiful. And he 
told me it was the king himself that ordered it to be done, and 
he threatened me with such dreadful things if I failed. So I 
took the child up in my arms, and carried him along. I 
thought it might be the son of one of the household slaves. 
I did wondei: certainly to see the gold and the beautiful baby- 
clothes, and I could not think why there was such a weeping 
in Harpagu8*s house. Well, very soon, as I came along, I got 
at the truth. They sent a servant with me to show me the 
way out of the town, and to leave the baby in my hands ; and 
he told me that the child's mother is the king's daughter 
Mandane, and his father Cambyses, the son of Cyrus ; 
and that the king orders him to be killed; and look, here 
the child is.'* 

112. With this the herdsman uncovered the infant, and 
showed him to his wife, who, when she saw him, and observed 
how fine a child and how beautiful he was, burst into tears, 
and cUnging to the knees of her husband, besought him on no 
account to expose the babe ; to which he answered, that it was 
not possible for him to do otherwise, as Harpagus would be 
sure to send persons to see and report to him, and he was to 
suffer a most cruel death if he disobeyed. Failing thus in her 
first attempt to persuade her husband, the woman spoke a 
second time, saying, '* If then there is no persuading thee, and 
a child must needs be seen exposed upon the mountains, at 
least do thus. The child of which I have just been deUvered 
is still-bom ; take it and lay it on the hills, and let us bring 
up as our own the child of the daughter of Astyages. So 
shalt thou not be charged with unfaithfulness to thy lord, nor 
shall we have managed badly for ourselves. Our dead babe 

Chap. 111-114. CYBUS MADE KING IX PLAY. 24 1 

will have a royal funeral, and this living child will not be 
deprived of life." 

lis. It seemed to the herdsman that this advice was the 
best under the circumstances. He therefore followed it 
without loss of time. The child which he had intended to put 
to death he gave over to his wife, and his own dead child he 
put in the cradle wherein he had carried the other, clothing it 
first in all the other's costly attire, and taking it in his arms 
he laid it in the wildest place of all the mountain-range. 
"When the child had been three days exposed, leaving one of 
his helpers to watch the body, he started off for the city, and 
going straight to Harpagus's house, declared himself ready to 
show the corpse of the boy. Harpagus sent certain of his 
body-guard, on whom he had the firmest reliance, to view the 
body for him, and, satisfied with their seeing it, gave orders 
for the funeral. Thus was the herdsman's child buried, and 
the other child, who was afterwards known by the name of 
Cyrus, was taken by the herdsman's wife, and brought up 
under a different name.^ 

114. When the boy was in his tenth year, an accident which 
I will now relate, caused it to be discovered who he was. He 
was at play one day in the village where the folds of the cattle 
were, along with the boys of his own age, in the street. The 
other boys who were playing with him chose the cowherd's 
son, as he was called, to be their king. He then proceeded to 
order them about — some he set to build him houses, others he 
made his guards, one of them was to be the king's eye, another 
had the office of carrying his messages, aU had some task or 
other. Among the boys there was one, the son of Artembares, 
a Mede of distinction, who refused to do what Cyrus had set 
him. Cyrus told the other boys to take him into custody, and 
when his orders were obeyed, he chastised him most severely 
with the whip. The son of Artembares, as soon as he was let 

1 Strabo (xv. p. 1034) says that tho 
original name of Cyms was Agradates, 
but this would seem to be merely a 

cormption of Atradates, his father^s 
name according to Nic. Damasc. (Seo 
the last note but one.) 

VOL. I. B 


go, full of rage at treatment bo little befitting his rank, 
hastened to the city and complained bitterly to his father of 
what had been done to him by Cyrus. He did not, of course, 
say " Cyrus,'* by which name the boy was not yet known, but 
called him the son of the king's cowherd. Artembares, in the 
heat of his passion, went to Astyages, accompanied by his son, 
and made complaint of the gross injury which had been done 
him. Pointing to the boy's shoulders, he exclaimed, " Thus, 
oh ! king, has thy slave, the son of a cowherd, heaped insult 
upon us." 

115. At this sight and these words Astyages, wishing to 
avenge the son of Artembares for his father's sake, sent for 
the cowherd and his boy. When they came together into his 
presence, fixing his eyes on Cyrus, Astyages said, " Hast thou 
then, the son of so mean a fellow as that, dared to behave 
thus rudely to the son of yonder noble, one of the first in my 
court ? " ** My lord," replied the boy, ** I only treated him as 
he deserved. I was chosen king in play by the boys of our 
village, because they thought me the best for it. He himself 
was one of the boys who chose me. All the others did accord- 
ing to my orders ; but he refused, and made light of them, 
until at last he got his due reward. K for this I deserve to 
suffer punishment, here I am ready to submit to it." 

116. While the boy was yet speaking Astyages was struck 
with a suspicion who he was. He thought he saw something 
in the character of his face like his own, and there was a 
nobleness about the answer he had made ; besides which his 
age seemed to tally with the time when his grandchild was 
exposed. Astonished at all this, Astyages could not speak for 
a while. At last, recovering himself with difficulty, and 
wishing to be quit of Artembares, that he might examine the 
herdsman alone, he said to the former, "I promise thee, 
Artembares, so to settle this business that neither thou nor 
thy son shall have any cause to complain." Artembares 
retired from his presence, and the attendants, at the bidding 
of the king, led Cyrus into an inner apartment. Astyages 

Chap. 114-117. HABPAOUS CONFESSES. 243 

then being left alone mth the herdsman, inquired of him 
where he had got the boy, and who had given him to him ; 
to which he made answer that the lad was his own child, 
begotten by himself, and that the mother who bore him was 
still alive, and lived with him in his house. Astyages remarked 
that he was very ill-advised to bring himself into such great 
tronble, and at the same time signed to his body-guard to lay 
hold of him. Then the herdsman, as they were dragging him 
to the rack, began at the beginning, and told the whole story ex- 
actly as it happened, without concealing anything, ending with 
entreaties and prayers to the king to grant him forgiveness. 

117. Astyages, having got the truth of the matter from the 
herdsman, was very little further concerned about him, but 
with Harpagus he was exceedingly enraged. The guards were 
bidden to summon him into the presence, and on his appear- 
ance Astyages asked him, *' By what death was it, Harpagus, 
that thou slewest the child of my daughter whom I gave into 
thy hands ? " Harpagus, seeing the cowherd in the room, did 
not betake himself to lies, lest he should be confuted and 
proved false, but replied as follows : — " Sire, when thou gavest 
the child into my hands I instantly considered with myself 
how I could contrive to execute thy wishes, and yet, while 
guiltless of any unfaithfulness towards thee, avoid imbruing 
my hands in blood which was in truth thy daughter's and 
thine own. And this was how I contrived it. I sent for this 
cowherd, and gave the child over to him, telling him that by 
the king's orders it was to be put to death. And in this I told 
no lie, for thou hadst so commanded. Moreover, when I gave 
him the child, I enjoined hun to lay it somewhere in the wilds 
of the mountains, and to stay near and watch till it was dead ; 
and I threatened him with all manner of punishment if he 
failed. Afterwards, when he had done according to all that I 
commanded him, and the child had died, I sent some of the 
most trustworthy of my eunuchs, who viewed the body for me, 
and then I had the child buried. This, sire, is the simple 
truth, and this is the death by which the child died." 


118. Thus Harpagus related the whole story in a plain, 
straightforward way ; upon which Astyages, letting no sign 
escape him of the anger that he felt, began by repeating to 
him all that he had just heard from the cowherd, and then 
concluded with saying, ** So the boy is alive, and it is best as 
it is. For the child's fate was a great sorrow to me, and the 
reproaches of my daughter went to my heart. Truly fortune 
has played us a good tiurn in this. Go thou home then, and 
send thy son to be with the new comer, and to-night, as I 
mean to sacrifice thank-oflferings for the child's safety to the 
gods to whom such honour is due, I look to have thee a guest 
at the banquet.'* 

119. Harpagus, on hearing this, made obeisance, and went 
home rejoicing to find that his disobedience had turned out so 
fortunately, and that, instead of being punished, he was invited 
to a banquet given in honour of the happy occasion. The 
moment he reached home he called for his son, a youth of 
about thirteen, the only child of his parents, and bade him go 
to the palace, and do whatever Astyages should direct. Then, 
in the gladness of his heart, he went to his wife and told her 
all that had happened, v Astyages, meanwhile, took the son of 
Harpagus, and slew him, after which he cut him in pieces, and 
roasted some portions before the fire, and boiled others ; and 
when all were duly prepared, he kept them ready for use. 
The hour for the banquet came, and Harpagus appeared, and 
with him the other guests, and all sat down to the feast. 
Astyages and the rest of the guests had joints of meat served 
up to them ; but on the table of Harpagus, nothing was placed 
except the flesh of his own son. This was all put before him, 
except the hands and feet and head, which were laid by them- 
selves in a covered basket. When Harpagus seemed to have 
eaten his fill, Astyages called out to him to know how he had 
enjoyed the repast. On his reply that he had enjoyed it 
excessively, they whose business it was brought him the 
basket, in which were the hands and feet and head of his son, 
and bade him open it, and take out what he pleased. Har- 


pagns accordingly uncovered the basket, and saw within it the 
remains of his son. The sight, however, did not scare him, 
or rob him of his self-possession. Being asked by Astyages if 
he knew what beast's flesh it was that he had been eating, he 
answered that he knew very well, and that whatever the king 
did was agreeable. After this reply, he took with him such 
morsels of the flesh as were uneaten, and went home, intend- 
ing, as I conceive, to collect the remains and bury them. 

120. Such was the mode in which Astyages punished 
Harpagus : afterwards, proceeding to consider what he should 
do with Cyrus, his grandchild, he sent for the Magi, who 
formerly interpreted his dream in the way which alarmed him 
80 much, and asked them how they had expoimded it. They 
answered, without varying from what they had said before, 
that " the boy must needs be a king if he grew up, and did not 
die too soon." Then Astyages addressed them thus : " The 
boy has escaped, and lives ; he has been brought up in the 
country, and the lads of the village where he lives have made 
him their king. All that kings commonly do he has done. 
He has had his guards, and his doorkeepers, and his 
messengers, and all the other usual officers. Tell me, then, 
to what, think you, does all this tend ? *' The Magi answered, 
" If the boy survives, and has ruled as a king without any 
craft or contrivance, in that case we bid thee cheer up, and 
feel no more alarm on his account. He will not reign a 
second time. For we have foimd even oracles sometimes 
folfilled in an unimportant way; and dreams, still oftener, 
have wondrously mean accomplishments." "It is what I 
myself most incUne to think," Astyages rejoined ; " the boy 
having been already king, the dream is out, and I have 
nothing more to fear from him. Nevertheless, take good heed 
and counsel me the best you can for the safety of my house 
and your own interests." " Truly," said the Magi in reply, 
"it very much concerns our interests that thy kingdom be 
firmly established ; for if it went to this boy it would pass into 
foreign hands, since he is a Persian: and then we Medes 


should lose our freedom, and be quite despised by the 
Persians, as being foreigners. But so long as thou, our 
fellow-countryman, art on the throne, all manner of honours 
are ours, and we are even not without some share in the 
government. Much reason therefore have we to forecast well 
for thee and for thy sovereignty. If then we saw any cause 
for present fear, be sure we would not keep it back from thee. 
But truly we are persuaded that the dream has had its 
accomplishment in this harmless way ; and so our own fears 
being at rest, we recommend thee to banish thine. As for the 
boy, our advice is, that thou send him away to Persia, to his 
father and mother." 

121. Astyages heard their answer with pleasure, and 
calling Cyrus into his presence, said to him, " My child, I was 
led to do thee a wrong by a dream which has come to 
nothing : from that wrong thou wert saved by thy own good 
fortune. Go now with a light heart to Persia ; I will provide 
thy escort. Go, and when thou gettest to thy journey's end, 
thou wilt behold thy father and thy mother, quite other 
people from Mitradates the cowherd and his wife." 

122. With these words Astyages dismissed his grandchild. 
On his arrival at the house of Cambyses, he was received by 
his parents, who, when they learnt who he was, embraced 
him heartily, having always been convinced that he died 
almost as soon as he was bom. 80 they asked him by what 
means he had chanced to escape ; and he told them how that 
till lately he had known nothing at all about the matter, 
but had been mistaken — oh I so widely ! — and how that he had 
leamt his history by the way, as he came from Media. He 
had been quite sure that he was the son of the king's cowherd, 
bnt on the road the king's escort had told him all the truth ; 
and then he epoke of the cowherd's wife who had brought him 
upj and MIed his whole talk with her praises ; in all that he 
had to tell them about himself, it was always Cyno — Cyno 
was everything. Bo it happened that his parents, catching 
the name at his month, and wishing to persuade the Persians 

Chap. 120-123. 



that there was a special providence in his preservation, spread 
the report that Cyrus, when he was exposed, was suckled by a 
bitch. This was the sole origin of the rumour.^ 

128. Afterwards, when Cyrus grew to manhood, and became 
known as the bravest and most popular of all his compeers, 
Harpagus, who was bent on revenging himself upon Astyages, 
began to pay him court by gifts and messages. His own rank 
was too humble for him to hope to obtain vengeance without 
some foreign help. When therefore he saw Cyrus, whose 
wrongs were so similar to his own, growing up expressly (as it 
were) to be the avenger whom he needed, he set to work to 
procure his support and aid in the matter. He had already 
paved the way for his designs, by persuading, severally, the 
great Median nobles, whom the harsh rule of their monarch 
had offended, that the best plan would be to put Cyrus at their 
head, and dethrone Astyages. These preparations made, 
Harpagus, being now ready for revolt, was anxious to make 
known his wishes to Cyrus, who still lived in Persia ; but as 
the roads between Media and Persia were guarded, he had to 
contrive a means of sending word secretly, which he did in the 
following way. He took a hare, and cutting open its belly 
without hurting the fur, he slipped in a letter containing what 
he wanted to say, and then carefully sewing up the paimch, 
he gave the hare to one of his most faithful slaves, disguising 
him as a hunter with nets, and sent him off to Persia to take 
the game as a present to Cyrus, bidding him tell Cyrus, by 
word of mouth, to paunch the animal himself, and let no one 
be present at the time. 

'Mr. Giote obsenres with reason 
tliai "the miiaonlons stoiy is the 
older of the two/' and that the com- 
mooplaoe version of it preferred bj 
HerodotDB is dne to certain " rational- 
ising Gieeks or Persians " at a snbse- 
quent period. In the same spirit he 
remarics "the ram which carried 
Fhryziu and Hell^ across the Helles- 
pont is represented to ns as ha^ng 
been in reality a man named Krius, 
who aided their flight — the winged 

horse which carried Bellerophon was a 
ship named Pegasna " (vol. iv, p. 246, 
note). A somewhat different mode 
was found of rationalising the myth of 
Bomulns and Bemns, suckled, accord. 
ing to the old tradition, by a she* 
wolf, which may be seen in Livy (i. 4) : 
— *' Sunt, qui Larcntiam, ynlgato oor- 
pore, lupam inter pastores vocatam 
patent ; inde locam fabulse et mira- 
culo datum.'* 



Book I. 

124. All was done as he wished, and Cyrus, on cutting the 
hare open, found the letter inside, and read as follows : — ** Son 
of Cambyses, the gods assuredly watch over thee, or never 
wouldst thou have passed through thy many wonderful adven- 
tures — ^now is the time when thou mayst avenge thyself upon 
Astyages, thy murderer. He willed thy death, remember ; to 
the gods and to me thou owest that thou art still alive. I 
think thou art not ignorant of what he did to thee, nor of 
what I suffered at his hands because I committed thee to the 
cowherd, and did not put thee to death. Listen now to me, 
and obey my words, and all the empire of Astyages shall be 
thine. Eaise the standard of revolt in Persia, and then march 
straight on Media. Whether Astyages appoint me to com- 
mand his forces against thee, or whether he appoint any other 
of the princes of the Medes, all will go as thou couldst wish. 
They will be the first to fall away from him, and joining thy 
side, exert themselves to overturn his power. Be sui-e that on 
our part all is ready ; wherefore do thou thy part, and that 

125. Cyrus, on receiving the tidings contained in this 
letter, set himself to consider how he might best persuade the 
Persians to revolt. After much thought, he hit on the follow- 
ing as the most expedient course : he wrote what he thought 
proper upon a roll, and then calling an assembly of the 
Persians, he unfolded the roll, and read out of it that Astyages 
appointed him their general. '* And now," said he, " since it 
is so, I command you to go and bring each man his reaping- 
hook." With these words he dismissed the assembly. 

Now the Persian nation is made up of many tribes.® Those 
which Cyrus assembled and persuaded to revolt from the 

_ * Aooording to Xonophon thcnnm. 
bcr nf tbp Persian tribpa wQft twelve § b)f accorcHtig to Hero- 
ten. TLi3 autboHty of the 
•IwATia wwvb c3£tT^t»t with 
vt to ]uH own times H ifi here 
H Btni uioro tlo\jljrti;t \*f the 
nwwywith wliiclillii^ same 

ber twelve occnrB in his norratiTo 
Not only are the tribes twelve, and 
the snperintendents of the education 
twelve, bnt the whole number of the 
nation is twelve myriads (i. ii. § 15), 
CyroB is subject to the Persian dis- 
cipHne for twelve years (i. iii. § 1), 
Ao. Ac, 

Chap. 124, 126. 



MedeSy were the principal ones on which all the others are 
dependent.* These are the Pasargad®,*^ the Maraphians,® and 
the Maspians, of whom the PasargadsB are the noblest. The 
AchsBmenidaB/ from which spring all the Perseid kings, is one 

* The distinctioii of saperior and in- 
ferior tribes is common among no. 
madic and semi-nomadic nations. The 
Golden Horde of the Calmncks is well 
known. Hanj Arab tribes are looked 
down npon with contempt by the 
Bedoweens. Among the Mongols the 
dominion of superior over inferior 
tribes is said to be carried to the 
extent of a very cmel tyranny (P&llas, 
Mongol. V6lker, toI. i. p. 185). The 
Bcytibians in the time of Herodotus 
were divided, very nearly as the 
Persians, into three grades, Boyal 
Scythians, Husbandmen, and Nomads. 
(Vide infra, iv. 17-20.) 

* Pbsargads) was not only the name 
of the principal Persian tribe, but also 
of the ancient capital of the country 
(Strab. XT. p. 1035.) Stephen of 
Byzantium (in voc. neurcropTcidai) trans. 
lates the word "the encampment of 
the Persians." If we accept this 
meaning, we must regard Pasargada) 
as a corruption of Par^agada?, a form 
which is preserved in Quintus Curtius 
(V. vi. § 10, X. i. § 22). 

Acooiding to Anazimenes (ap. Steph. 
Bys. 1. B. c.) Cyrus founded Pasar- 
gade; but Ctesias appears to have 
represented it as already a place of 
importance at the time when Cyrus 
revolted. (See the newly-discovered 
fragment of Nic. Damasc. in the Fragm. 
Hist. GrsBC. vol. iii. pp. 405-6, ed. 
Didot.) There seems to be no doubt 
that it was the Persian capital of both 
Cyrus and Cambyses, Persepolis being 
founded by Darius. Cyrus was him- 
self buried there, as we learn from 
Cteoaa (Pers. £xc. § 9), Arrian (vi. 
29), and Strabo (zv. p. 1035). It was 
afterwards the place where the kings 
were inaugurated (Plutarch, Artax. 
o. 8), and was placed under the special 
pftjteotion of the Magi. Hence Pliny 
spoke of it as a castle occupied by the 

Magi (" inde ad orientcm Magi obti- 
nent Pasargadas castellum," vi. 26). 

It seems tolerably certain that the 
modem Murg-auh is the site of the 
ancient Pasargada;. Its position with 
respect to Persepolis, its strong situa- 
tion among the mountains, its remains 
bearing the marks of high antiquity, 
and, above aU, the name and tomb of 
Cyrus, which have been discovered 
among the ruins, mark it for the 
capital of that monarch beyond all 
reasonable doubt. The best account 
of the present condition of the ruins 
will be found in Ker Porter's Travels 
(vol. i. pp. 485-510). Murg^ub is the 
only place in Persia at which inscrip- 
tions of the age of Cyrus have been 
discovered. The ruined buildings bear 
the following legend : — '* Adam Kumsh, 
khsh^yathiya, Hakhamanishiya " — *'I 
[am] Cyrus the king, the Acha?me- 
nian." For an account of the tomb of 
Cyrus, vide infra, note on ch. 214. 

* Only one instance is found of a 
Mara])hian holding an important office. 
Amasis, the commander whom Ary- 
andcs sent to the relief of Pheretima, 
was iyrip Mapdifnos (j^ 167). In 
general the commandifll are Achsa- 
menians, now and then they are 
called simply Pasargada?. 

^ The AchsemenidsD were the royal 
family of Persia, the descendants of 
Acheemencs (Uakhamanish), who was 
probably the leader under whom the 
Persians first settled in the country 
which has ever since borne their name. 
This Achsemenes is mentioned by 
Herodotus as the founder of the king, 
dom (iii. 75; vii. II). His name 
appears in the Behistun inscription 
twice (col. 1, par. 2, and Detached 
Inscript. A.) In each case it is asserted 
that the name Acha^menian attached to 
the dynasty on account of the descent 
from Achsmenes. *'Awahya r&diya 



Book I. 

of their clans. The rest of the Persian tribes are the follow- 
ing:® the Fanthialseans, the Derusiseans, the Germanians; 
who are engaged in husbandry ; the Daans, the Mardians, the 
Dropicans, and the Sagartians, who are Nomads.® 

way am HakhAmaniehiyatliityamahya'* 
^'* E4 ratione Doa Acbwmeiienjsee ap* 
pelkmur." In nil tlie inAcripthma the? 
kin^e of Peraia glory in the title, 

[Tlicconnucucenjeiitof the Bebifitim 
inflcHptiou, riglitly understood, i« uf 
great importance for the illnfltration 
of the hiiitory of the AchajmeniaiiB, 
I>anuB In the first paragraph styles 
hiniB^lfaiiAcba'meiiian; intheaeoondr 
be thowB hid right to this title by 
tmcing hie patemo] ancestry to Achfiu- 
menes ; in the third, he g<H^a on to 
glorify the Achspmenian famiJy by do- 
Ecribbgtheantiqdity of their descent, 
and the fact of their having fora lonff 
time paat fnmiEhed kings to th^ 
PoMian nation f aud in the fourth 
pajragrupb he fnrtber exphiins that 
eight of the Acba^meman family have 
tbn* already fille*^ the throne of Feraia^ 
and that he is the ninth of the lino 
who ia called to rule over hia country^ 
men. In thia statement, however, 
Dmiaa secm^i to pot forirard no claim 
whatever to include hia immodiate 
anceetry amcng the Persian kings ; 
they are merely enumerated in order 
to establish his claim to AebDenjeuiou 
dcBCent, and are in no case distin- 
guiahed by the title of khshdyathiya^ 
or " king." So clear indeed and fised 
was the tradition of the royal family 
in this reapeot, that both Aita^erxes 
Mnemon and Artaxerxes OchoB (see 
Journal of the Asiat. Boc., vol* z. 
p. 812, and Toh IV, p. 15fl), may bo 
observed, in tracing their pedigree, 
to qualify eoch ancestor by the title 
tt king up to LaritiSj but froni that 
time to drop the royal title, and to 
speak of Hysta^pes and Aivames as 
mere private indiriduals. It will be 
impoMiblo, at the same time, to make 
up from Grecian bifitory tbo list ef 
nine ting?, extending, ncoarding to the 
inscription, f jwn j\ cl i ecmenes to Darin h, 
Witlioat iiicJuding Bardiua or the 

trne Smcrdis, and ho appears to hare 
been slain beforo his brother left for 
Egypt. The other names will undonbt. 
edly be Cambyses, Cyrus the Great, 
Cambyses his father, Cyrus (Herod, i. 
ill), Cambyses (whose sister Atossa 
inarried Phamaces of Cappadocia, 
Phot. Bibl. p. 1158), TeTispes (Herod, 
vii. 11) ; and Achmmenes. In pre. 
ference, perhaps, to inserting Bardius 
at the commencement of t&s list, I 
would suggest that the ninth khig 
among tho predecessors of Darius may 
liave been tho father of AchsemeneB 
named by the Greeks ^gens, or Perses, 
itr sometimes Perseus, being thus con- 
founded with the eponymous hero of 
tho Persian race. The name Aohse. 
mencs, although occupying so pro- 
minent a position in authentic Persian 
tiistory, is unknown either in the an- 
tique traditions of the Yendidad, or in 
the romantic legends of the so-called 
Kaianian dynasty, probably because 
Achsmencs lived after the compilation 
of the Yendidad, but so long before 
the invention of the romances that 
his name was forgotten. The name 
bignifies "friendly" or "possessing 
friends," being formed of a Persian 
word, hcikhdf oorresponding to the 

Sanscrit t|4C| | sakhd, and an attri. 

bntiye affix equivalent to the Sanscrit 
mat, which forms the nominative in 
mafi. M. Oppert thinks that we have 
another trace of the Persian word 
hcLkhd in the 'Afnaxalris of Herodotna 
(vii. 63). See the Journal Asiatiqne, . 
-V"* B^ie, torn. xvii. p. 268.— H. C. B.] 

Achasmenes continued to be used as 
a family name in after times. It waa 
borne by one of the sons of Darius 
Hystaspes (infra, vii. 7). 

* See Essay iv. <0n the Ten Tribes 
of the Persians.' 

' Nomadic hordes must always be 
an important element in the popnla- 


126. When, in obedience to the orders which they had 
received, the Persians came with their reaping-hooks, Cyrus 
led them to a tract of gromid, about eighteen or twenty 
fmrlongs each way, covered with thorns, and ordered them to 
clear it before the day was out. They accomplished their 
task; upon which he issued a second order to them, to take 
the bath the day following, and again come to him. Mean- 
while he collected together all his father's flocks, both sheep 
and goats, and all his oxen, and slaughtered them, and made 
ready to give an entertainment to the entire Persian army. 
Wine, too, and bread of the choicest kinds were prepared for 
the occasion. When the morrow came, and the Persians 
appeared, he bade them recUne upon the grass, and enjoy 
themselves. After the feast was over, he requested them tp 
tell him "which they liked best, to-day*s work, or yester- 
day's?" They answered that ''the contrast was indeed 
strong : yesterday brought them nothing but what was bad, 
to-day everything that was good." Cyrus instantly seized on 
their reply, and laid bare his purpose in these words : ''Ye 
men of Persia, thus do matters stand with you. If you choose 
to hearken to my words, you may enjoy these and ten thousand 
Bimilar delights, and never condescend to any slavish toil; 
but if you will not hearken, prepare yourselves for unnumbered 
toils as hard as yesterday's. Now therefore follow my bidding, 
and be free. For myself I feel that I am destined by Provi- 
dence to undertake your liberation ; and you, I am sure, are 
no whit inferior to the Medes in anything, least of all in 
bravery. Eevolt, therefore, from Astyages, without a moment's 

tian of Fenia. Lai^ portions of the 
oomntiy are onlj habitable at certain 
■ oaiona of the year. Recently the 
wandering tribes (Ilj&ts) have been 
calonlated at one-half (Kinnier, Per- 
siaa Empire, p. 44), or at the least 
cme-fbiirth (MOTier, Journal of Geo- 
graph. Soc., Yol. vii. p. 230) of the entire 
popnlatioiL They are of great im- 

portance in a military point of view. 
Of the four nomadic tribes mentioned 
by Eerodotns the Sagartians appear 
to hare been the most powerful. They 
were contained in the 14th Satrapy 
(iii. 98) and famished 8000 horse- 
men to the army of Xerxes (vii. 85), 
who were armed with daggers and 



Book I. 

127. The Persians, who had long been impatient of the 
Median dominion, now that they had found a leader, were 
dehghted to shake off the yoke. Meanwhile Astyages, in- 
formed of the doings of Cyrus, sent a messenger to summon 
him to his presence. Cyrus replied, " Tell Astyages that I 
shall appear in his presence sooner than he will like." 
Astyages, when he received this message, instantly armed all 
his subjects, and, as if God had deprived him of his senses, 
appointed Harpagus to be their general, forgetting how greatly 
he had injured him. So when the two armies met and 
engaged, only a few of the Medes, who were not in the secret, 
fought ; others deserted openly to the Persians ; while the 
greater number coimterfeited fear, and fled. 

128. Astyages, on learning the shameful flight and dis- 
persion of his army, broke out into threats against Cyrus, 
saying, " Cyrus shall nevertheless have no reason to rejoice ; " 
and directly he seized the Magian interpreters, who had 
persuaded him to allow Cyrus to escape, and impaled them ; 
after which, he armed all the Medes who had remained in the 
city, both young and old; and leading them against the 
Persians, fought a battle, in which he was utterly defeated, 
his army being destroyed, and he himself falling into the 
enemy's hands.^ 

^ According to tho fragment of Nico- 
las of DamasciiB, to wliich reference 
has repeatedly been made, as in all 
probability containing the account 
which Gtesias gave of the conquest of 
Astyages by Gyms, not fewer than 
fiye great battles were fought, all in 
Persia. In the first and second of 
thcae Astyages was Tiotoiioas. In the 
~ wi&dt took plao e near Ftaaar- 
l^huld, whore 
jitldrtin of ihe 
^^i*u i;ont) t-lif^y snoct^eded 
kheW aamiilivnta. In the 
It, Wliich waa fcioght on tV day 
IbOuwinfr Uub UUnl, (uid un thti Bfime 

victory, killing 60,000 of the enemy. 
Still Astyages did not desist from his 
attempt to reconquer them. The fifth 
battle is not contained in the frag, 
ment. It evidently, however, took 
place in the same neighbourhood (cf . 
Strab. XV. p. 1036), for the spoils were 
taken to Pasargado). Astyages fled. 
The provinces fell off, and acknow- 
lodged the sovereignty of Persia. Fi- 
nally Cyrus went in pursuit of Astyages, 
who had still a small body of adherents, 
defeated him, and took him prisoner. 
This last woidd seem to be the second 
battle of Herodotus. The last but one 
is called by Strabo the final struggle, 
as indeed in one sense it was. It is 


129. Harpagus then, seeing him a prisoner, came near^ 
and exulted over him with many gibes and jeers. Among 
other catting speeches which he made, he alluded to the 
supper where the flesh of his son was given him to eat, and 
asked Astyages to answer him now, how he enjoyed being a 
slave instead of a king? Astyages looked in his face, and 
asked him in return, why he claimed as his own the achieve- 
ments of Cyrus? *' Because," said Harpagus, "it was my 
letter which made him revolt, and so I am entitled to all the 
credit of the enterprise." Then Astyages declared, that " in 
that case he was at once the silliest and the most imjust of 
men : the silliest, if when it was in his power to put the crown 
on his own head, as it must assuredly have been, if the revolt 
was entirely his doing, he had placed it on the head of 
another ; the most unjust, if on accoimt of that supper he had 
brought slavery on the Medes. For, supposing that he was 
obliged to invest another with the kingly power, and not retain 
it himself, yet justice required that a Mede, rather than a 
Persian, should receive the dignity. Now, however, the 
Medes, who had been no parties to the wrong of which he 
complained, were made slaves instead of lords, and slaves 
moreover of those who till recently had been their subjects." 

130. Thus after a reign of thirty-five years, Astyages lost 
his crown, and the Medes, in consequence of his cruelty, were 
brought under the rule of the Persians. Their empire over 
the parts of Asia beyond the Halys had lasted one himdred 
and twenty-eight years, except during the time when the 
Scythians had the dominion.^ Afterwards the Medes repented 

this which he says took placo near 

The narratiye of Plutarch (De Vir- 
tnt. Mnlier. p. 246, A.) belongs to the 
fourth battle, and donbtlesa came from 

As there is less improbabilitj, and 
far less poetry, in the narrative of 
Nicolaus Damascennfl than in that of 
Herodotus, it is perhaps to be pre- 

ferred, notwithstanding the untruat- 
worthiness of Ctesias, probably his 
sole authority. 

' This is a passage of extreme diffi. 
culty. The clause vaph^ fl itrov ol 2ic^- 
6cu iipxoyy has been generally under- 
stood io mean, ** besides the time that 
the Scythians had the dominion ; " so 
that the ontiro number of years has 
boon supposed to bo (128+28 = ) 166, 



Book L 

of their submission, and revolted from Darius, but were 
defeated in battle, and again reduced to subjection.® Now, 
however, in the time of Astyages, it was the Persians who 
under Gyrus revolted from the Medes, and became thenceforth 

and HerodotTLS has thns been con- 
sidered to place the commencement of 
the Median hegemony six years before 
the accession of Detoces. (See the 
synopsis of the opinions on the passage 
in Clinton, F. H. vol. i. pp. 267-9 ; and 
infra, Essay iii. § 18.) Bat irapi( fj 
seems rightly explained by Valckenaer 
and Clinton as, not ** besides" bnt 
'* except" "The Medes mled over 
Upper Asia 128 years, except during 
the time that the Scythians had the 
dominion ; ** t.s. they ruled (128 - 28=) 
100 years. (See on this point the 
'Rerum Assyriarom tempera emen- 
data' of Dr. Brandis, pp. 6-8.) This 
would make their rule begin in the 
twenty-third year of Detoces. 

Niebuhr (Denkschrift d. Berl. Ac. d. 
WisBcnschaft, 1820-1, pp. 49-60) sus- 
pected that the passage was corrupt, 
and proposed the following reading — 
Ap^ayrts rrjs Ayw^AKvos irortifiov*A<riris 
ii^ irta wtPT^KOPra fcal ^Karhp, 
vapi^ ^ iffop ol Jbc^Bai ^px^^t rpiifKoyra 
tv&p Z4ovra. This would remove some, 
bnt not all, of the difficulties. It is 
moreover too extensive an alteration 
to bo received against the authority of 
all the MSS. 

' It has been usual to regard this 
outbreak «a8 identical with the revolt 
recorded by Xenophon (Hell. i. ii. ad 
fin.) in alaiost the same woi-ds. B&hr 
(in loc.) and Dahlmann (Life of Herod, 
p. 83, Engl. Tr.) have argued from the 
passage that Herodotus was still em- 
ployed upon his history as late as B.c. 
407. Clinton is of the same opinion, 
except that he places the revolt one 
year earlier (F. H. vol. ii. p. 87. 01. 
92, 4) . Mr. Grotc, with his usual saga- 
city, perceived that Herodotus could 
not intend a revolt 160 years afier the 
subjection, or mean by Darius "with- 
out any adjective designation," any 
other Darius than the son of Hystaspes. 

He saw, therefore, that there must 
have been a revolt of the Medes from 
Darius HyBta8X)es, of which this pas- 
sage was possibly the only record 
(Hist, of Greece, vol. iv. p. 804, note). 
Apparently he was not aware of the 
g^at inscription of Darius at Behistnn, 
which had been published by Col. Baw- 
linson the year bof ore his fourth volume 
appeared, wherem a long and elaborate 
account is given of a Median revolt 
which occurred 'in the third year of 
Darius, and was put down with diffi- 
culty. Col. Bawlinson gives the 
general outline of the struggle as 
follows : — 

" A civil war of a far more formid- 
able character broke out to the north- 
ward. Me^ia, Assyria, and Armenia 
appetir to have been confederated in a 
bold attempt to recover their inde- 
pendence. They elevated to the 
throne a descendant, real or supposed, 
of the ancient line of [Median] kings ; 
and after six actions had been fought 
between the partisans of this powerful 
chief and the tnoops which were em- 
ployed by Darius, upder the command 
of three of his most distinguished 
generals, unfavourably it must be pre- 
Bxmied to the latter, or at any rate 
with a very partial and equivocal 
Bucces^, the monarch found himself 
compelled to repair in person to the 
scene of conflict. Darius accordingly, 
in 'the third year of 'his reign, re- 
ascended from Babylon to Media. He 
brought his enemy to action without 
delay, defeated and pursued him, and 
taking him prisoner at Rhages, he slew 
him in the citadel of Ecbatana" (Behist. 
Inscrip. vol. i. pp. 188-9). 

Col. Mure, I observe, though aware 
of this discovery, maintains the view 
of Bahr and Dahlmann (Literature 'of 
Greece, vol. iv. App. G.), but not, I. 
think, successfuMy. 

Ghat, lao^ 181. 



the ralers of Asia. Cyras kept Astyages at his court during 
the remainder of his Ufe, without doing him any further 
injury. Such then were the circumstances of the birth and 
bringing up of Cyrus, and such were the steps by which he 
mounted the throne. It was at a later date that he was 
attacked by Croesus, and overthrew him, as I have related in 
an earlier portion of this history. The overthrow of Croesus 
made him master of the whole of Asia. 

181. The customs which I know the Persians to observe 
are the following. They have no images of the gods, no 
temples nor altars, and consider the use of them a sign of 
folly .^ This comes, I think, from their not beheving the 
gods to have the same nature with men, as the Greeks 
imagine. Their wont, however, is to ascend the summits 
of the loftiest mountains, and there to offer sacrifice to 
Jupiter, which is the name they give to the whole circuit of 
the firmament. They likewise offer to the sun and moon, 
to the earth, to fire, to water, and to the winds. These are 
the only gods whose worship has come down to them from 
ancient times. At a later period they began the worship 
of Urania, which they borrowed*^ from the Arabians and 

4 On the general eabject of the Re- 
ligion of the Penians, see the Essays 
appended to tfaSa Yolame, Essay ▼. 

*The readiness of the Persians to 
adopt foreign customs, even io religion, 
is Tery remarkable. Perhaps the most 
striking instance is the adoption from 
the Assyrians of the woU-lmown em- 
blem figured on next page <Figs. 1, 2, 
8), consisting of a winged circle with 
or without a human figure rising from 
the circular space. This emblem is of 
AB83rrian origin, appearing in the 
earliest sculptures of that country 
(Layard*B Nineveh, vol. i. chap. v.). 
Its exact meaning is uncertain, but 
the conjecture is probable, that while 
in the human head we have the symbol 
of intelh'gcnce, the wings signify 
omnipresence, and the circle eternity. 
Thus the Persians were able, without 
the sacrifice of any principle, to admit 

it as a religious emblem, which wo 
find them €0 have done, as early as 
the time of Darius, universally (seo 
the sculptures at Persepolis, Naklish-' 
i-Bustam, Behistun, &c.). It is quite 
a mistake to conclado from this, as 
Mr. Layard does (Nineveh, vol. ii. 
chap, vii.), tliat they adopted the 
Assyrian religion generally. Tlie 
monuments prove the very contrary; 
for, with three exceptions, that of the 
symbol in question, that of the four- 
winged genius, and that of the colossal 
winged bulls, the Assyrian religious 
emblems do not re-appear in the early 
Persian sculptures. 

A triple figure is sometimes found 
issuing from the circle (Fig. l), which 
has been supposed to represent a triaiio 
god, but this mode of representation 
does not occur in the Persian sculp- 
tures. Some religious emblems seem 


Assyrians. Mylitta® is the name by which the Assyrians 

to have been adopted by the Persians 
from the Eg^'ptians ; as, for instance, 
the curious head-dress of the four- 
winged genius at Murg-aub (Pasar- 

gadap), which closelj resembles a well- 
known Egyptian form. The Perman 
sculpture is of the time of Cyrus. 
Figs. 5 & 6. 

Fig. 6. Egyptian. 

^ For a full notice of this goddess, 
see below, Essay x. 'On the lleligion 
of the Assyrians and Babylonians.' 
The true explanation of the Herodotean 

Fig. 6. Persian. 

nomenclature, which has been so much 
discussed, seems to bo, that Molis (aa 
Nic. Damasc. gives the name, Fragm. 
Hist. Gr.) vol. iii. p. 361, note 16) is for 



know this goddess, whom the Arabians call Alitta,"^ and the 
Persians Mitra.^ 

182. To these gods the Persians oflfer sacrifice in the 
following manner : they raise no altar, Ught no fire, pour no 

JfuZ, which was an old Babylonian 
word equivalent to Bel or Nin^ and 
merelj signifying "a Lord," and thac 
in Mjlitta we have the same name 
with a feminine ending. It is possible, 
however, that Molis or Yolis maj be a 
Gormption of Golis, the g and v being, 
as is wen known, perpetually liable to 
confosion in the Greek orthography of 
prop^" names, and Gula in the primi- 
tiye langoage of Babylonia, which is 
now ascertained to be of the Hamitic, 
and not of the Semitic ff^mily, signified 
"great," being either identical with 
OaX (the more ordinary term for 
"great" — compare Ner-gal, Ba^aX, 
Gallos, Ao.), or a feminine form of 
that word, — answering in fact to the 
Ouda of the Cralla dialect of Africa. 
The Gnla or "great goddess" of the 
inscriptions is the female principle of 
the sun, and thus nearly answers to 
the Mithra of the Persians; but the 
name is never applied to the supreme 
Goddess Beltis, who was the Alitta of 
the Arabians.— [H. C. R.] 

Mylitta, the '• Great Goddesa" of tho 
Auyrians. (From Layard.) 

' Alitta, or Alilat (iii. 8), is the Se- 
mitic root hVi, " God," with the femi- 
nine snlBx, n or kt, added. 

'TfaiB identification is altogether 

TOL. I. 

a mistake. The Persians, like their 
Vedic brethren, worshipped the sun 
under the name of Mithra. This was 
a portion of the religion which they 
brought with them from tho Indus, and 
was not adopted from any foreign 
nat ion. The name of Mithra does not 
indeed occur in the •AchsBmenian 
inscriptions until the time of Arta- 
xerxes Mncmon (Journal of Asiatic 
Society, vol. xv. part i., p. 160), but 
there is no reason to question the 
antiquity of his worship in Persia. 
Xenophon is right in making it a part 
of the religion of Cyrus (Cyrop. viii. 
iii. § 12,and vii. § 3). 

The mistake of Herodotus does not 
appear to have been discovered by the 
Greeks before the time of Alexander. 
Xenophon, indeed, mentions Mithras 
(Cyrop. VII. v. § 53; (Eeon. iv. 24), 
and also the Persian sun-worship (Cy- 
rop. VIII. iii. § 12), but he does not in 
any way connect the two. Strabo is 
the finst clasKical writer who distinctly 
lays it down that the Persian Mithras 
is the Sun-god (xv. p. 1039). After 
him Plutarch shows acquaintance with 
the fact (Vit. Alex. c. 30), which 
thenceforth becomes generally recog- 
nised. (See the inscriptions on altars, 


Suidas, Heaychius, &c.) 

The real representative of Venus in 
the later Pantheon of Persia was 
Tunata or Anaitis (see Hyde, De 
Religione Vet. Pers. p. 98). Her 
worship by the Persians had, no doubt, 
commenced in the time of Herodotus, 
but it was not till the reign of Arta- 
xerxcs Mnemon (b.c 405 at the ear- 
liest) that her statue was set up pub- 
licly in the temples of the chief cities 
of the empire (Pint. Artaxerx. c. 27). 
The inscription of Mnemon recently 
discovered at Susa records this event 
(Jour, of As. Society, 1. s. c), which 
seems to have been wrongly ascribed 
by Berosus to Artaxerxes Ochus (Beros. 
np. Clem. Alex. Protr. i. 5). 

3.ot r. 

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,• . ■ . ■" ■ ;iiTi,j- 
fi, ';•■ - i-.i -' 

.■I «: . . V"** 





celebrate most is their birthday. It is customary to have the 
board furnished on that day with an ampler supply than 
common. The richer Persians cause an ox, a horse, a camel, 
and an ass to be baked whole ^ and so served up to them: 
the poorer classes use instead the smaller kinds of cattle. 
They eat little solid food but abimdance of dessert, which is 
set on table a few dishes at a time ; this it is which makes 
them say that "the Greeks, when they eat, leave oflf hungry, 
having nothing worth mention served up to them after the 
meats ; whereas, if they had more put before them, they would 
not stop eating." They are very fond of wine, and drink it in 
large quantities.* To vomit or obey natural calls in the 
presence of another, is forbidden among them. Such are 
their customs in these matters. 

It is also their general practice to deliberate upon affairs of 
weight when they are drunk ; and then on the morrow, when 
they are sober, the decision to which they came the night 
before is put before them by the master of the house in which 
it was made ; and if it is then approved of, they act on it ; if 
not, they set it aside. Sometimes, however, they are sober at 
their first deliberation, but in this case they always reconsider 
the matter imder the influence of wine.^ 

^ It is a common castom in the 
East, at the present day, to roast 
sl^ep whole, even for an ordinary 
repast; and on fdte days it is done 
in Dalmatia and in other parts of 
Enrope.— [G. W.] 

• At the present day, among the 
" bona vivants " of Persia, it is usual 
to sit for hours before dinner drinking 
wine, and eating dried fruits, such as 
filberts, almonds, pistachio-nuts, melon 
seeds, Ac. A xiarty, indeed, often sits 
down at seven o'clock, and the dinner 
is not brought in till eleven. The 
dessert dishes, intermingled as they 
are with highly-seasoned delicacies, are 
supposed to have the effect of stimu- 
lating the appetite, but, in reality, 
the solid dishes, which are served up 
at the end of the feast, are rarely 
tasted. The passion, too, for wine- 
drinking is as marked among the Per- 

sians of the present day, notwithstand- 
ing the prohibitions of the Prophet, 
as it was in the time of Herodotus. It 
is quite appalling, indeed, to see the 
quantity of liquor which some of 
these topers habitually consume, and 
they usually prefer spirits to wine. 
— [H. C. E.J 

* Tacitus assorts that the Germans 
were in the habit of deliberating on 
pe£u;e and war under the influence of 
wine, reserving their determination 
for the morrow. He gives the reasons 
for the practice, of which he mani- 
festly approves : — " Do pace denique et 
bollo plorumque in conviviis consul- 
tant, tanquam nuUo magis tempore ad 
magnas cogitationes incaloscat animus. 
Gens non astuta, neo callida, aperit 
ndhuc secreta pectoris, licentiA joci. 
£rg6 detecta et nuda omnium mens, 
poster^ die retractatur ; et salva ntri- 



Book I. 

134. When they meet each other in the streets, you may 
know if the persons meeting are of equal rank by the following 
token ; if they are, instead of speaking, they kiss each other 
on the lips. In the case where one is a little inferior to the 
other, the kiss is given on the cheek ; where the difference of 
rank is great, the inferior prostrates himseK upon the ground.* 
Of nations, they honour most their nearest neighbours, whom 
they esteem next to themselves ; those who live beyond these 
they honour in the second degree ; and so with the remainder, 
the further they are removed, the less the esteem in which they 
hold them. The reason is, that they look upon themselves as 
very greatly superior in all respects to the rest of mankind, 
regarding others as approaching to excellence in proportion as 
they dwell nearer to them;^ whence it comes to pass that 
those who are the farthest oflf must be the most degraded of 
mankind.® Under the dominion of the Medes, the several 

nsqne tomporis ratio est. Deliberant, 
dam fiiigore nesciunt : constituimt, 
dum errare non posBunt." — (Germ. 22.) 
It does not appear that the Germans 
reversed the process. 

Plato, in his Laws, mentions the use 
made of dninkenness bj the Persians. 
He sajs, the same practice obtained 
among the Thracians, the Scythians, 
the Celts, the Iberians, and the Cartha- 
ginians (Book I. p. 637, E). Duris of 
Samos declared that once a year, at 
the f efist of Mithras, the king of Persia 
was bound to be drank. (Fr. 13.) 

* The Persians are still notorioas for 
their rigid attention to ceremonial and 
etiquette. In all the ordinary pursuits 
of life, paying visits, entering a room, 
seating oneself in company, in episto- 
lary address, and even in conversa- 
tional idiom, gradations of rank are 
defined with equal strictness and 
nicety. With regard to the method of 
salutation, the extreme limits are, a^ 
Herodotus observed, the z^utual em- 
brace (the kiss is now invariably given 
on the cheek), and prostration on the 
ground; but there are also several 
intermediate forms, which he has not 
thought it worth while to notice, 
of obeisance, kissing hands, Ac, by 

which an experienced observer leamB 
the exact relation of the parties. — 
[H. C. R.] 

^ Of late years, since the nations of 
Europe have been brought by their 
commercial and political relations into 
closer, connexion with Persia, the ex- 
cessive vanity and self -admiration of 
these Frenchmen of the East has been 
somewhat abated. Their monarch, 
however, still retains the title of " the 
Centre of the Universe," and it is not 
cady- to persuade a native of Isfahan 
that any European capital can be 
superior to his native city. — [H. C. R.] 

^ In an early stage of geographical 
knowledge each nation regards itself 
as occupying the centre of the earth. 
Herodotus tacitly assumes that Greece 
is the centre by his theory of ifrxortai 
or "extremities" (iii. 115). Such was 
the view commonly entertained among 
the Greeks, and Delphi, as the centre of 
Greece, was called " the navel of the 
world" (yas 6fjLtpak6sy Soph. CEd. T. 
898; Pind. Pyth. vi. 3, Ac). Even 
AQstotle expresses himself to the same 
effect, and regards the happy tempera- 
ment of the Greeks as the result of 
their intermediate position (Polit. vii. 
6). Our own use of the terms "the 


nations of the empire exercised authority over each other in this 
order. The Medes were lords over all, and governed the nations 
upon their borders, who in their turn governed the States be- 
yond, who likewise bore rule over the nations which adjoined 
on them.^ And this is the order which the Persians also follow 
in their distribution of honour ; for that people, like the Medes, 
has a progressive scale of administration and government. 

135. There is no nation which so readily adopts foreign 
customs as the Persians. Thus, they have taken the dress of 
the Medes,® considering it superior to their own ; and in war 

East," "tfc« West," is a trace of the 
former existence of similar views 
among ourselves. 

' It is quite inconceivable that there 
sboold have been any such system of 
government either in Media or Persia, 
as Herodotus here indicates. With 
respect to Persia, we know that the 
most distant satrapies were hold as 
directly of the crown as the nearest. 
Compare the stories of Orcetes (iii. 
126^) and Aryandes (iv. 16G). The 
utmost that can be said with truth is, 

that in the Persian and Median, as in 
the Roman empire, there were three 
grades; first, the ruling nation; 
secondly, the conquered provinces ; 
thirdly, the nations on the frontier, 
governed by their own laws and 
princes, but owning the supremacy of 
the imperial power, and reckoned 
among its tributaries. This was the 
position in which the Ethiopians, Col- 
chians, and Arabians, stood to Persia 
(Herod, iu. 97). 
^ It appears from ch. 71 that the old 

A. (Median.) 

B. (PenUn.) 



Book I. 

they wear the Egyptian breastplate.® As soon as they hear 
of any luxury, they instantly make it their own : and hence, 
among other novelties, they have learnt unnatural lust from 
the Greeks. Each of them has several wives, and a still 
larger number of concubines. 

136. Next to prowess in arms, it is regarded as the greatest 
proof of manly excellence, to be the father of many sons.^ 
Every year the king sends rich gifts to the man who can show 
the largest number : for they hold that number is strength. 
Their sons are carefully instructed from their fifth to their 
twentieth year,^ in three things alone, — to ride, to draw the 
bow, and to speak the truth.® Until their fifth year they are 

national dress of the Persians was a 
close-fittinf^ tunio and trousers of 
leather. The Median costume, accord- 
ing to Xenophon (Cjrop. viii. i. § 40), 
was of a nature to conceal the form, 
and give it an appearance of grandeur 
and elegance. It would seem there- 
fore to have been a flowing robe. At 
Persepolis and Behistun the representa- 
tions of the monarch and his chief 
attendants have invariably a long 
flowing robe (A), while soldiers and 
persons of minor importance wear a 
close-fitting dress, fastened by a belt, 
and trousers meeting at the ankles 
a high shoe (B). It seems probable 
that the costume (A) is that which 
Herodotus and Xenophon called the 
Median, while the close-fltting dress 
(B^ is the old Persian garb. See p. 261. 

• The Egyptian corslets are noticed 
again (ii. 182, and vii. 89). For a 
desoription of them, see Sir 6. Wilkin- 
son's note to Book ii. oh. 182. 

1 Sheikh Ali Mirza, a son of the 
well-known Futteh Ali Shah, was ac- 
counted the proudest and happiest 
man in the empire, because, when he 
rode out on state occasions, he was 
attended by a body-guard of sixty 
of his own sons. At the time of 
Futteh Ali Shah's death his direct 
descendants amounted to nearly three 
thousand, some of them being in the 
fifth degree, and every Persian in con- 
sequence felt a pride in being the 

subject of such a king. The greatest 
misfortune, indeed, that can befall a 
man in Persia is to be childless. When 
a chiefs " hearthstone" as it was said, 
" was dark" he lost all respect, and 
hence arose the now universskl prac- 
tice of adoption. — [H. C. R.]' 

' Xenophon, in his romance (Cyrod. 
I. ii. § 8), makes the first period of 
education end with the sixteenth or 
seventeenth year, after which he says 
there followed a second period of ten 
years. It was not till the completion 
of this second period that the Persian 
became a full citizen (r^Keios). In all 
this, it is evident, we have only the 
philosophic notions of the Greeks. 
Perhaps even in Herodotus we have 
Greek speculations rather than history. 
He does not appear to have travelled 
in Persia Proper. 

' The Persian regard for truth has 
been questioned by Larcher on the 
strength of the speech of Darius in 
Book iii. (chap. 72). This speech, 
however, is entirely unhistoric. The 
special estimation in which truth was 
held among the Persians is evidenced 
in a remarkable manner by the in- 
scriptions of Darius, where lying is 
taken as the representative of all evil. 
It is the great calamity of the usurpa- 
tion of the pseudo-Smerdis, that " then 
the lie became abounding in the land *' 
(Behist. Ins. Col. i. Par. 10). "The 
Evil One (?) invented lies that they 

Chap. 185-lda 



not allowed to come into the sight of their father, but pass 
their lives with the women. This is done that, if the child 
die young, the father may not be afflicted by its loss. 

137. To my mind it is a wise rule, as also is the following 
— ^that the king shall not put any one to death for a single 
fault, and that none of the Persians shall visit a single fault 
in a slave with any extreme penalty ; but in every case the 
services of the offender shall be set against his misdoings; 
and, if the latter be found to outweigh the former, the 
aggrieved party shall then proceed to punishment.* 

188. The Persians maintain that never yet did any one kill 
his own father or mother ; but in all such cases they are quite 
sure that, if matters were sifted to the bottom, it would be 
found that the child was either a changeling or else the fruit 
of adultery ; for it is not likely, they say, that the real father 
should perish by the hands of his child. 

189. They hold it unlawful to talk of anything which it is 
unlawful to do. The most disgraceful thing in the world, 
they think, is to tell a lie ; the next worst, to owe a debt : 
because, among other reasons, the debtor is obliged to tell lies. 
If a Persian has the leprosy ^ he is not allowed to enter into a 
city, or to have any dealings with the other Persians ; he 
must, they say, have sinned against the sun. Foreigners 
attacked by this disorder are forced to leave the country : 
even white pigeons are often driven away, as guilty of the 
same oflfence. They never defile a river with the secretions 

Bhonld deceive the state " (Col. iv. 
Par. 4). Darius ia favoured by Ormazd, 
" because he was not a heretic, nor a 
Itor, nor a tyrant " (Col. iv. Par. 13). 
His racoeesors are exhorted not to 
cherish, but to cast into utter perdi- 
tlon, "the man who may be a liar, 
or who may be an evil doer" (ib. Par. 
14). His great fear is lest it may be 
tiionght tlmt any part of the record 
whidb he has set up has been "falsely 
related," and he even abstains from 
narrating certain events of his reig^ 
" lest to him who may hereafter peruse 
the tablet, the many deeds that have 

been done by him may seem to be 
falsely recorded " (ib. Par. 6 and 8). 

* Vide infra, vii. 194. 

* In the original, two kinds of 
leprosy are mentioned, the A^irpa and 
the \t6in\. There does not appear by 
the description which Aristotle gives 
of the latter (Hist. Animal, iii. 11) 
to have been any essential difference 
between them. The AeiJioj was merely 
a mild form of leprosy. With the 
Persian isolation of the leper, compare 
the Jewish practice (Lev. xiii. 46, 
2 Kings vii. 3. xv. 5. Luke xvii. 12). 



Book I. 

of their bodies, nor even wash their hands in one ; nor will 
they allow others to do so, as they have a great reverence for 
rivers. There is another peculiarity, which the Persians 
themselves have never noticed, but which has not escaped my 
observ^ation. Their names, which are expressive of some 
bodily or mental excellence,® all end with the same letter — ^the 
letter which is called San by the Dorians, and Sigma by the 
lonians.'' Any one who examines will find that the Persian 
names, one and all without exception, end with this letter.® 

140. Thus much I can declare of the Persians with entire 
certainty, from my own actual knowledge. There is another 
custom which is spoken of with reserve, and not openly, 
concerning their dead. It is said that the body of a male 
Persian is never buried, until it has been torn either by a dog 
or a bird of prey.® That the Magi have this custom is beyond 

* It i« appnront from this passage 
that Herodotus had not any very excujt 
acquaintance with the Persian lan- 
^lage ; for though it is true enough 
the Persian names have all a meaning 
(as the Greek names also have), yet 
it is rarely that the etjTnology can be 
traced to denote physical or mental 
qualities. They more usually indicate 
Q, glorious or elevated station, or de- 
pendanco on the gods, or worldly 
possessions. See the list of Persian 
names occurring in Herodotus and 
other writers in the notes appended to 
Book vi— [H. C. E.] 

^ The Phoenician alphabet, from 
which the Greeks adopted theirs (infri, 
V. 58), possessed both san (Heb. shin) 
fmdsigma(<imech). The Greeks, 
not having the sound of ahy did not 
need the two sibilants, and therefore 
soon merged them in one, retaining 
however both in their system of 
numeration, till they replaced sigrna 
by xi. The Dorians called the sibilant 
which was kept sauy the lonians 
sigma; but the latter use prevailed. 
The letter came to be generally known 
as sigmay but at the same time it held 
the place of san in the alphabet. (See 
Bunsen's Philosophy of Univ. Hist. 
Tol. i. p. 258.) 

® Here Herodotus was again mis- 
taken. The Persian names of men 
which terminate with a consonant end 
indeed invariably with the letter «, or 
rather sh, as Kurush (Cyrus), B&r. 
yavush (Darius), Chishpdish (Teispes); 
Hakhdmanish, &c. ( Aohaomenes) . [Tlie 
shin such cases is the mere nomina- 
tival ending of the 2nd and 3rd de- 
clensions ; i.e. of themes ending in i 
and u. — H. C. R.] But a large num- 
ber of Persian names of men were 
pronounced with a vowel termination, 
not expressed in writing, and in these 
the last consonant might be almost any 
letter. We find on the monuments 
Vashtdsp (a), Hystaspes — Arshdm (a) 
Arsames — Ariydrdman (o), Ariaramnes 
— Bardiy (a) Bardies or Smerdis — 
Qaumat (a) Gk)mates — Qauhruw (a) 
Gk)bryas--Ac. &o. The sigrna in these 
cases is a mere conventional addition 
of the -Greeks. 

•Agathias (ii. p. 60) and Strabo 
(xv. p. 1042) also mention this strange 
custom, which still prevails among 
the Parsees wherever they are found, 
whether in Persia or in India. Chardin 
relates that there was in his time a 
cemetery, half a league from Isfahkn, 
consisting of a round tower 85 feet 
high, without any doorway or other 


a doubt, for they practise it without any concealment. The 
dead bodies are covered with wax, and then buried in the 

The Magi are a very peculiar race, differing entirely from 
the Egyptian priests, and indeed from all other men what- 
soever. The Egyptian priests make it a point of religion not 
to kill any live animals except those which they oflfer in 
sacrifice. The Magi, on the contrary, kill animals of all kinds 
with their own hands,^ excepting dogs ^ and men. They even 
seem to take a deUght in the employment, and kill, as readily 
as they do other animals, ants and snakes, and such like 
flying or creeping things. However, since this has always 
been their custom, let them keep to it. I return to my former 

141. Immediately after the conquest of Lydia by the 
Persians, the Ionian and ^olian Greeks sent ambassadors to 
Cyrus at Sardis, and prayed to become his lieges on the 
footing which they had occupied under Croesus. Cyrus listened 
attentively to their proposals, and answered them by a fable. 
" There was a certain piper," he said, "who was walking one 
day by the seaside, when he espied some fish ; so he began to 
pipe to them, imagining they would come out to him upon the 
land. But as he found at last that his hope was vain, he 
took a net, and enclosing a great draught of fishes, drew them 

eniranoe. Here the Guebres deposited 
their dead by means of a ladder, and 
left them to be devoured by the crows, 
which were to be seen in large num- 
bers aboat the place. (Yojage en 
Perse, torn, ii p. 186.) Such towers 
exist throughout India, wherever the 
Parsees are numerous. The bodies 
are laid on iron bars sloping inwards. 
When the flesh is gone, the bones slip 
thzoogh between the bars, or sliding 
down them fall in at the centre, where 
there is an open space left for the pur- 
pose. A similar practice of exposing 
dead bodies to wild beasts or birds of 
prej prevails among the Mongols. 
(See Hue's Tartary and Thibet.) 

^ This would seem to be an exaggera- 
tion of the Zoroastrian practice of 
killing the animals supposed to have 
been created by the Evil Principle, 
Ahriman, such as frogs, toads, snakes, 
mice, lizards, flics, &c. (See the 
author's Ancient Monarchies, vol. ii. 
p. 351, 2nd edition.) 

^ The dog is represented in the 
Zendavesta as the special animal of 
Ormazd, and is still regarded with 
peculiar reverence by the Parsees. 
On one of the magnificent tombs at 
the Chehl-Min&r, of which Chardin 
has given an accurate drawing (plate 
68), a row of dogs is the ornament of 
the entablature. 



Book I. 

ashore. The fish then began to leap and dance ; but the 
piper said, * Cease your dancing now, as you did not choose to 
come and dance when I piped to you.' " Cyrus gave this 
answer to the lonians and iEoUans, because, when he urged 
them by his messengers to revolt from Croesus, they refused ; 
but now, when his work was done, they came to offer their 
allegiance. It was in anger, therefore, that he made them 
this reply. The lonians, on hearing it, set to work to fortify 
their towns, and held meetings at the Panionium,® which 
were attended by all excepting the Milesians, with whom 
Cyrus had concluded a separate treaty, by which he allowed 
them the terms they had formerly obtained from Croesus. 
The other lonians resolved, with one accord, to send ambas- 
sadors to Sparta to implore assistance. 

142. Now the lonians of Asia, who meet at the Panionium, 
have built their cities in a region where the air and climate 
are the most beautiful in the whole world : for no other region 
is equally blessed with Ionia, neither above it nor below it, 
nor east nor west of it. For in other countries either the 
climate is over cold and damp, or else the heat and drought 
are sorely oppressive. The lonians do not all speak the same 
language, but use in diflferent places four different dialects. 
Towards the south their first city is Miletus, next to which lie 
Myus and Prien6 ;* all these three are in Caria and have the 

> Infra, ch. 148, note K 

^ Miletus, Mjms, »nd Pridn^ all lay 
near the month of the Masander (the 
moderlL Mendere). At their original 
colonisation they were all maritime 
cities. Miletus stood at the northern 
extremity of a promontory formed by 
the mountain-range called Grius, com- 
manding the entrance of an extensive 
bay which washed the base of the four 
mountains, Grius, Latmus,and Titanus, 
south of the Maeander, and Mycal^, a 
continuation of the great range of 
Messogis, north of that stream. This 
bay, called -the bay of Latmus, was 
about 25 miles in its greatest length, 
from near Latmus to Pridn^. Its 

depth, from Miletus ^» Myus, was 
above 5 miles. Myus stood nearly in 
the centre of the bay, at the foot of 
Titanus; Pridn^, at its northern ex- 
tremity, under the hill of Mycal^. 
Into this bay the Mseander poured its 
waters, and the consequence was the 
perpetual formation of fresh land. 
(Vide infrJ^ ii. 10, where Herodotus 
notes the fact.) Pri^n^, by the time 
of Strabo, was 40 stadia (44 miles) 
from the sea (xii. p. 827). Myus had 
been rendered uninhabitable by the 
growth of the alluvium, forming hol- 
lows in its vicinity, where the stagnant 
water generated swarms of mosquitoes 
(Strab. xiv. p. 912; Pausan. vii. ii. 



same dialect. Their cities in Lydia are the following: 
Ephesus, Colophon, Lebedus, Teos, ClazomenaB, and PhocaBa.^ 
The inhabitants of these towns have none of the peculiarities 
of speech which belong to the three first-named cities, but use 
a dialect of their own. There remain three other Ionian 
towns, two situate in isles, namely, Samos and Chios; and 
one upon the mainland, which is Erythrse. Of these Chios 
and Erythrae have the same dialect, while Samos possesses a 
language peculiar to itself.® Such are the four varieties of 
which I spoke. 

143. Of the lonians at this period, one people, the Milesians, 
were in no danger of attack, as Cyrus had received them into 
alliance. The islanders also had as yet nothing to fear, since 
Phoenicia was still independent of Persia, and the Persians 
themselves were not seafai-ing people. The Milesians had 
separated from the common cause solely on account of the 
extreme weakness of the lonians : for, feeble as the power of 
the entire Hellenic race was at that time, of all its tribes the 
Ionic was by far the feeblest and least esteemed, not pos- 
sessing a single State of any mark excepting Athens. The 
Athenians and most of the other Ionic States over the world, 
went so far in their dislike of the name as actually to lay it 
aside; and even at the present day the greater number of 

§ 7). Since the time of these gcogra. 
phers the changes have been even 
more astonishing. The soil brought 
down by the Mseonder has filled up 
the whole of the northern portion of 
the gulf, so that Miletns, Mjns, and 
Pridn^ now stand on the outskirts of 
a great alluvial plain, which extends 
even beyond Miletus, 4 or 5 miles sea- 
wards. Lad^, and the other islands 
which lay oft the Milesian shore, are 
become part of the continent, rising, 
like the rock of Dumbarton, from the 
marshy soil. The southern portion of 
the gnlf of Latmns is become a lake, 
the lake of Bafi, which is now 7 or 8 
miles from the sea at the nearest 
point. The difference between the 
ancient and modem geography will be 

best seen by comparing the chart?. 
See pp. 268, 269.) 

* These cities are enumerated in the 
order in which they stood, from south 
to north. Erythrso lay on the coast 
opposite Chios, between Teos and* Cla- 

* According to Suidas, Herodotus 
emigrated to Samos from Halicamas- 
sus on account of the tyranny of Lyg- 
damis, grandson of Artemisia, and 
there exchanged his native Doric for 
the Ionic dialect in which he composed 
his history. If this account be true, 
we must consider that we have in the 
writings of Herodotus the 8amiam 
variety of the Ionic dialect. But 
little dependance can be placed on 



Book I. 

them seem to me to be ashamed of it.'' But the twelve cities 
in Asia have always gloried in the appellation ; they gave the 
temple which they built for themselves the name of the 
Panionium, and decreed that it should not be open to any of 
the other Ionic States; no State, however, except Smyrna, 
has craved admission to it. 

144. In the same way the Dorians of the region which is 
now called the Pentapolis, but which was formerly known as 
the Doric Hexapolis, exclude all their Dorian neighbours from 
their temple, the Triopium : ® nay, they have even gone so far 


' The old Pelasgio tribes, when once 
Hellenised, were apt to despise their 
proper ethnic appellations. As with 
the lonians, so it was with the Dryo- 
pians, who f^fenerally contemned their 
name, as Pansanias tells ns (iv. xxxiv. 
§ 6). Here again, however, there was 
an exception, Asinseans, nnlike other 
Dryopians, glorying in the title (ib.). 

* The Triopium was bailt on a pro- 
montory of the same name within the 
territory of the Cnidians. It has been 
nsaal to identify the promontory with 
the small peninsula (now Cape Krio) 
which, according to Strabo (xiv. p. 
938), was once an island, and was 
afterwards joined by a causeway to the 
city of Cnidus. (See Ionian Antiq. voL 

Chap. 143, 144. 



as to shut out from it certain of their own body who were 
guilty of an offence against the customs of the place. In the 
games which were anciently celebrated in honour of the 
Triopian Apollo,^ the prizes given to the victors were tripods 
of brass ; and the rule was that these tripods should not be 
carried away from the temple, but should then and there be 
dedicated to the god. Now a man of Halicamassus, whose 
name was Agasicles, being declared victor in the games, in 
open contempt of the law took the tripod home to his own 
house, and there hung it against the wall. As a punishment 


iii. p. 2. Beaufort's Karamauia, Map, 
app. p. 81. Texier, Asie Mineure, vol. 
iii. plate 159.) Bat from the notice 
contained in Scylax (Peripl. p. 91), 
and from the narrative in Thacydides 
(viii. 35), it is evident that the Trio- 
pian cape was not Cape Krio, on which 
stood a part of the town of Cnidns 
(Strab. 1. 8. c), but a promontory 
further to the north, probably that 

immediately above Cape Krio, No 
remains of the ancient temple have 
yet been found, but perhaps the coast 
has not been Bufficiently explored 
above Cnidus. 

* An inscription found at Cnidus 
mentions a yvfAyixhs a7A;v as occurring 
every fifth year. (See Hamilton's 
Asia Minor, vol. ii. p. 460.) The 
games are said to have been oele- 



Book I. 

for tliiH fault, the five other citioB, Lindus, lalyssus, Cameirus, 
OoH, and C^nidiis, difprived the sixth city, HalicamasBUS, of the 
ri^ht of eiiteriii;^ the temple.^ 

I'l/i. 'i'h(t loiiiaiiH fotitided twelve cities in Asia, and refused 
to eidar^e the nuinlii^r on account (as I ima<^ine) of their 
having bcujn divided into twelve States when they lived in the 
INdoponiiemi i'* j»i^t «is the Aclijeans, who drove them out, are 
at the preH(;iit day. The iirst city of the Acheeans after 

l*r TWiyVfi iM- 

bmUnl in himotir of Nopuino niid tho 
Nvm^khm A^« woll iki of AiK^IKv ^Sohol. 
mi TluHvr. Ul. wii. i:(».^ 

w««i>ik ill Rh^MtHH : i\i«i wiis on tht^ inland 
of I ho Mmo tmtm\at iho mouth of tho 
iVmmio liuU. i'uiiUi« »tui Uulioar. 
iuM»u« woro im tho iiMiuUiul, tho 
twti\or nodur to tho Trtoinuiu. tho 
Ullor iM\ tho rnvrth *hort* \xf ilu* Oon*. 
»H* OuU» \\n tho *ito wow vKVupit-^l by 
Hh\Ia«>*iii«. Thosio *i\ oiiio* t'onutsl an 
Awi^i«,Sy\wy. ^Mhioh hoM it* m<»otinc* 
M «hoto»tt|»lo of Ais^lUv \njiU«Nl tho Tri- 
fwaum. tMSJwr Oto.xlu«« tH«« uuvit ivucnil 
wl iho oil i<ML v^^^hol . a I rh^x'hi . I . <^ o. > 

nmuy other Doric ^ottlemonts on these 
omsts. The prinoi|ial appear to have 
botMi Myn<lu$ and Iaj«8i» to the north, 
and rhaselis to the east, n^K^n the con- 
tiuoui, TarpaThas and Svme, on their 
rt^»(xvtivo i;«Iands. Concerning the 
tiito of rhast^lis, Wde infra, iL 178^ 

* Ainvrviiusr to tho cv^mmon tra- 
ditUni. tho Aoha^jn*, exjvlleii by the 
l\»rtAn* trvnn Arc^>lis, Lac«.vua. and 
Moseiotiia. a; tho rimo of the retum of 
the Homo'o'Als ^b.».\ HOI in the ordin- 
ary ohn"nv^Uvy\ T\*:in^ north w^krdsy 
and exjv'Usl tho Tv*r.-aa* from their 
iN*nr.:ry, whtob. lyv^ruo :h^ AchsM of 
Hi*;ory. ^Yi^o irinji. vii. ;H.> 



Sicyon, is Pellene, next to which are iEgeira, iEgaB upon the 
Crathis, a stream which is never dry, and from which the 
Italian Crathis * received its name, — Biira, Helice — where the 
lonians took refuge on their defeat by the Achaean invaders, — 
iEgium, Ehypes, Patreis, Phareis, Olenus on the Peirus, 
which is a large river, — Dyme and Tritaeeis, all seaport towns 
except the last two, which lie up the country. 

146. These are the twelve divisions of what is now Achaea, 
and was formerly Ionia; and it was owing to their coming 
from a country so divided that the lonians, on reaching Asia, 
founded their twelve States : * for it is the height of folly to 
maintain that these lonians are more Ionian than the rest, or 
in any respect better bom, since the truth is that no small 
portion of them were Abantians from Euboea, who are not 
even lonians in name; and, besides, there were mixed up 
with the emigration, Minyse from Orchomenus, Cadmeians, 
Dryopians, Phocians from the several cities of Phocis, Molos- 
sians. Arcadian Pelasgi, Dorians from Epidaurus, and many 
other distinct tribes.*^ Even those who came from the Pry- 
taneum of Athens,* and reckon themselves the purest lonians 

' The Italian Crathis ran close by 
our author's adopted city, Thuriuni. 
(infra, v. 45, Strab. vi. p. 378). 

* It may be perfectly true, as has 
been argued by Raoul.Rochette (torn, 
iii. p. 83) and Mr. Grote (vol. iii. part 
ii. ch. xiii.), that the Ionic colonisation 
of Asia Minor, instead of being the 
result of a single great impulse, was 
the consequence of a long series of 
distinct and isolated efforts on the 
part of many different states ; and yet 
there may be the connexion which 
Herodotus indicates between the 
twelve cities of Achaja and the twelve 
states of Asiatic lonians. The sacred 
number of the lonians may have been 
twelve, and no other number may 
have been thought to constitute a 
perfect Amphictyony. In the same 
way the Etruscans in Italy (whether 
they moved northwards or southwards) 
formed their later confederacy of the 

same number of cities as their earlier. 
(Livy, V. 33.) 

* The Orchomenian MinysB founded 
Teos (Pausan. vii. iii. § 7), the Pho. 
cians Phoca^a (ibid). Abantians from 
Eoboea were mingled with lonians in 
Chios (Ion. ap. Pausan. vii. iv. § 6). 
Cadmeians formed a large proportion 
of the settlers at Pri6n6, which was 
sometimes called Cadm^ (Strab. xiv. 
p. 912). Attica had served as a 
refuge to fugitives from all quarters 
(see Thucyd. i. 2). 

® This expression alludes to the so- 
lemnities which accompanied the 
sending out of a colony. In the IVy- 
tan^um, or Government-house, of each 
state was preserved the sacred fire, 
which was never allowed to go out, 
whereon the life of the state was sup- 
posed to depend. When a colony 
took its departure, the leaders went in 
solemn procession to the Pry tandum of 



Book T. 

of all, brought no wives with them to the new country, but 
married Carian girls, whose fathers they had slain. Hence 
these women made a law, which they bound themselves by 
an oath to observe, and which they handed down to their 
daughters after them, *' That none should ever sit at meat 
with her husband, or call him by his name;" because the 
invaders slew their fathers, their husbands, and their sons, 
and then forced them to become their wives. It was at Miletus 
that these events took place. 

147. The kings, too, whom they set over them, were either 
Lycians, of the blood of Glaucus,'' son of Hippolochus, or 
Pylian Caucons ® of the blood of Codrus, son of Melanthus ; or 
else from both those families. But since these lonians set 
more store by the name than any of the others, let them pass 
for the pure-bred lonians ; though truly all are lonians who 
have their origin from Athens, and keep the Apaturia.® This 

the mother city, and took fresh fire 
from the sacred hearth, which was 
conveyed to the PrytaQ^am of the new 

7 See Horn. II. ii. 876. 

8 The Caucons are reckoned by 
Strabo among the earliest inhabitants 
of Greece, and asi«ociated with the 
Pelasgi, Leleges, and Dryopes (vii. 
p. 465). Like their kindred tribes, 
they were very widely spread. Their 
chief settlements, however, appear to 
have been on the north coast of Asia 
Minor, between the Mariandynians 
and the river Parthenius (Strab. xii. 
p. 785), and on the west coast of the 
Peloponnese in Messenia, Elis, and 
Triphylia. (Strab. viii. p. 496-7; 
Arist. Ft. 135.) In this last position 
they are mentioned by Homer (Od. iii. 
366) and by Herodotus, both here, 
and in Book iv. ch. 1-18. Homer pro- 
bably alludes to the eastern Caucons 
in II. X. 429, and xx. 329. They 
continued to exist under the name 
of Cauconitae, or Cauconiatot, in 
Strabo's time, on the Parthenius 
(comp. viii. p. 501, and xii. p. 786), 
and are even mentioned by Ptolemy 

(v. 1) as still inhabiting the same 
region. From the Peloponnese the 
race had entirely disap{)eared when 
Strabo wrote, but had left their name 
to the river Caucon. a small stream 
in the north-western corner of the 
peninsula. (Strab. viii. 496.) 

^ The Apatnria (d (= &fia) warvpia) 
was the solemn annual meeting of the 
phratries, for the purpose of register- 
ing the children of the preceding year 

I whose birth entitled them to citizen. 

I ship. It took place in the month 

I Pyanepsion (November), and lasted 
three days. On the first day, called 

, Aopirfa, the members of each phratry 
either dined together at the Phra- 
trium, or were feasted at the house of 
some wealthy citizen. On the second 

, day (avd^pvais), solemn sacrifice was 
oftered to Jupiter Phratrius. After 
these preliminaries, on the third day 
(Kovp€<aTis) the business of the festival 
took place. Claims were made, objec- 
tions were heard, and the registration 
was effected. (See Larcher'a note, 
vol. i. pp. 120-2, and Smith's Diet, of 
Antiquities, in voc. *Airaro6pia.) 



is a festival which all the lonians celebrate, except the Ephe- 
sians and the Colophonians, whom a certain act of bloodshed 
excludes from it. 

148. The Panionium ^ is a place in Mycale, facing the north, 
which was chosen by the common voice of the lonians and 
made sacred to Heliconian Neptune.* Mycale itself is a pro- 
montory of the mainland, stretching out westward towards 
Samos, in which the lonians assemble from all their States to 
keep the feast of the Panionia.® The names of festivals, not 
only among the lonians but among all the Greeks, end, like 
the Persian proper names, in one and the same letter. 

149. The above-mentioned, then, are the twelve towns of 
the lonians. The -ffiolic cities are the following: — Cyme, 
called also Phriconis, Larissa, Neonteichus, Temnus, Cilia, 
Notium, ^giroessa, Pitane, -^gaeae, Myrina, and Gryneia.* 

^ Under the name of Panionium are 
included both a tract of ground and a 
temple. It is the former of which 
Herodotus here speaks particularly, as 
the place in which the great Pan- 
Ionic festival was held. The spot was 
on the north side of the promontory of 
Mycal^, at the foot of the hill, three 
stadia (about a third of a mile) from 
the shore (Strab. xiv. p. 916). The 
modem village of Tchangli is supposed, 
with reason, to occupy the site. It is 
the only place on that steep and 
mountainous coast where an opening 
for a temple occurs; and here in a 
church on the sea-shore Sir W. Gell 
found an inscription in which the 
word " Panionium " occurred twice. 
(Leake's Asia Minor, p. 260.) The 
Panionium was in the territory of 
Pri6ne, and consequently under the 
g^uardianship of that state. 

' Heliconian Neptune was so called 
from Helic^, which is mentioned above 
among the ancient Ionian cities in the 
Peloponnese (ch. 145). This had been 
ihe central point of the old confede- 
racy, and the temple there had been 
in old times their place of meeting. 
Pausanias calls it ayi^aroy (vii. xxiv. 
§ 4). The temple at Mycale in the 
new Amphiotyony occupied the place 

VOL. I. 

of that at Helicd in the old. (Comp. 
Clitophon, Fr. 5.) 

' It is remarkable that Thucydides, 
writing so shortly after Herodotus, 
should speak of the Pan-Ionic festival 
at Mycale as no longer of any import- 
ance, and regard it as practically 
superseded by the festival of the 
Ephesia, held near Ephesus (iii. 104). 
Still the old feast continued, and was 
celebrated as late as the time of 
Augustus (Strabo, xiv. p. 916). 

* In this enumeration Herodotus 
does not observe any regular order. 
Proceeding from south to north, the 
uEolic cities (so far as they can be 
located with any certainty) occur in 
the following sequence : — Smyrna, 
Temnus, Neonteichus, Larissa, Cym6, 
^gsBf Myrina, Gryneium, Pitan^. 
Five of these, Pitan^, Gryneium, My- 
rina, Cym6, and Smyrna, were upon 
the coast. The others lay inland. 

^giro^ssa is not mentioned by any 
author but Herodotus, and Stepheu, 
quoting him. Herodotus, on the other 
hand, omits Elsea, near the mouth of 
the Caicus, which Strabo and Stephen 
mention as one of the principal 
JEolian cities. Possibly, therefore, 
^giro(isBa is another name for Elsea. 

.£olis, according to this view, 




Book I. 

These are the eleven ancient cities of the Cohans. Originally, 
indeed, they had twelve cities upon the mainland, like the 
lonians, but the lonians deprived them of Smyrna, one of the 
number. The soil of MoHs is better than that of Ionia, but 
the climate is less agreeable. 

150. The following is the way in which the loss of Smyrna 
happened. Certain men of Colophon had been engaged in a 
sedition there, and being the weaker party were driven by the 
others into banishment. The SmyrnaBans received the fugi- 
tives, who, after a time, watching their opportunity, while the 
inhabitants were celebrating a feast to Bacchus outside the 
walls, shut to the gates, and so got possession of the town.^ 
The -ffiolians of the other States came to their aid, and terms 
were agreed on between the parties, the lonians consenting to 
give up all the moveables, and the iEoUans making a sur- 
render of the place. The expelled SmyrnaBans were distributed 
among the other States of the -ffiolians, and were everywhere 
admitted to citizenship. 

151. These, then, were all the ^olic cities upon the main- 
land, with the exception of those about Mount Ida, which 
made no part of this confederacy.® As for the islands, Lesbos 

reached from the month of the Evenas 
(the modem Kosal-) to the interior 
recess of the bay of Smyrna. There 
was an intermption, however, in the 
ooast line, as the Ionic colony of 
PhocaBa intervened between Smjrma 
and Cym& Still in all probability the 
territory was continuous inland, reach- 
ing across the plain of the Hermus; 
Larissa to the north and Temnus to the 
south of the Hermus forming the links 
which connected Smyrna with the rest 
of the Amphictyony. (See Kiepert's 
Supplementary Maps, Berlin, 1851.) 

The territory waa a narrow strip 
along the shores of the Eleeitic Gnlf, 
but extended inland considerably 
up the rich valleys of the Heriuus 
and Caicns ; Pergamns in the one 
valley, and Magnesia (under Sipylas) 
in the other, being included within 
the limits of .^joUs. 

* Such treachery was not without a 
parallel in ancient times. Herodotas 
relates a similar instance in the con- 
duct of the Samians, who, when in- 
vited by the Zanclssans to join them, 
in colonising Cale Act^, finding Zancl^ 
undefended, seized it, and took it for 
their own (infra, vi 23). 

* The district here indicated, and 
commonly called the Troad, extended 
from Adramyttium on the south to 
Priapus on the north, a city lying on 
the Propontis, nearly due north of 
Adramyttium, It was much larger 
than the proper -/Eolis, and contained 
a vast number of cities, of which 
Assus and Antandrus were the chief. 
This district was mainly colonised 
from Lesbos. (Pausan. vi. iv. § 5j 
Strabo, xiii. pp. 885, 892.) 

Chap. 149-152. 



contains five citiesJ Arisba, the sixth, was taken by the 
MethymnsBans, their kinsmen, and the inhabitants reduced to 
slavery. Tenedos contains one city, and there is another 
which is built on what are called the Hundred Isles.® The 
iBolians of Lesbos and Tenedos, like the Ionian islanders, had 
at this time nothing to fear. The other ^olians decided in 
their common assembly to follow the lonians, whatever course 
they should pursue. f- 

152. When the deputies of the lonians and Cohans, who 
had journeyed with all speed to Sparta, reached the city, they 
chose one of their number, Pythermus, a Phocasan, to be their 
spokesman. In order to draw together as large an audience 
as possible, he clothed himself in a purple garment, and so 
attired stood forth to speak. In a long discourse he besought 
the Spartans to come to the assistance of his countrymen, but 
they were not to be persuaded, and voted against sending any 
succour. The deputies accordingly went their way, while the 
Lacedffimonians, notwithstanding the refusal which they had 
given to the prayer of the deputation, despatched a pente- 
conter* to the Asiatic coast with certain Spartans on board. 

^ The five Lesbian cities were, My- 
til^n^, Methymna, Antissa, Eresas, 
and Pyrrha. (Scylax. PeripL p. 87 j 
Strabo, xiii p. 885-7.) 

* These islands lay off the promon- 

tory which separated the bay of Atar- 
neos from that of Adramyttium, op{>o- 
site to the northern part of the island 
of Lesbos. They are said to be nearly 
forty in number. (B&hr in loc.) 

• Penteconters were ships with fifty 
rowers, twenty-fire of a side, who sat 

on a level, as is cnstomary in row- 
boats at the present day. Biremes 



Book I. 

for the purpose, as I think, of watching Cyrus and Ionia. 
These men, on their arrival at Phocaea, sent to Sardis 
Lacrines, the most distinguished of their number, to prohibit 
Cyrus, in the name of the LacedflBmonians, from oflFering mo- 
lestation to any city of Greece, since they would not allow it. 

153. Cyrus is said, on hearing the speech of the herald, to 
have asked some Greeks who were standing by, *' Who these 
Lacedaemonians were, and what was their number, that they 
dared to send him such a notice?**^ When he had received 
their reply, he turned to the Spartan herald and said, "I have 
never yet been afraid of any men who have a set place in the 
middle of their city where they come together to cheat each 
other and forswear themselves. If I live, the Spartans shall 
have troubles enough of their own to talk of, without con- 
cerning themselves about the lonians." Cyrus intended these 
words as a reproach against all the Greeks, because of their 
having market-places where they buy and sell, which is a 
custom unknown to the Persians, who never make purchases 
in open marts, and indeed have not in their whole country a 
single market-place.^ 

After this interview Cyrus quitted Sardis, leaving the city 
under the charge of Tabalus, a Persian, but appointing 
Pactyas, a native, to collect the treasure belonging to 
Croesus and the other Lydians, and bring it after him.^ 

(St^pctf), triremes (rpt4ip(is)j Ac, were 
shipe in which the rowers sat in ranks, 
some above the others. Biremes were 
probably of Phoenician invention. 
They were certainly known to the 
Assyrians in the time of Sennacherib, 
probably through that people. The 
subjoined representation is from the 
palace of that monarch at Konymijik. 
Triremes are said to have been in- 
vented about a century and a half 
before Cyrus by the Corinthians 
(Thucyd. i 13), but were for a long 
time very little used. The navy of 
Polycrates consisted of penteconters. 
(Vide infra, iii. 69.) 
1 Compare v. 73 and 105. 

^ Markets in the strict sense of the 
word are still unknown in the East, 
where the bazaars, which are collec- 
tions of shops, take their place. The 
Persians of the nobler class would 
neither buy nor sell at all, sinco they 
would be supplied by their dependants 
and through presents with all that they 
required for the common purposes of 
life. (Cf. Strab. xv. p. 1042, iyopas 
o^x i^rroyrau' otht yhp icotXovaw otir* 
MyovvTou.) Those of lower rank would 
buy at the shops, which were not 
allowed in the Forum, or public place 
of meeting (Xen. Cyrop. i. ii. § 3). 

» Heeren (As. Nat. i. p. 338, E. T.) 
regards this as the appointment of a 

Chap. 152-155. 



Cyrus himself proceeded towards Agbatana, carrying Croesus 
along with him, not regarding the lonians as important 
enough to be his immediate object. Larger designs were in 
his mind. He wished to war in person against Babylon, 
the Bactrians, the Sacas,* and Egypt ; he therefore determined 
to assign to one of his generals the task of conquering the 

154. No sooner, however, was Cyrus gone from Sardis than 
Pactyas induced his countrymen to rise in open revolt against 
him and his deputy Tabalus. With the vast treasures at his 
disposal he then went down to the sea, and employed them 
in hiring mercenary troops, while at the same time he 
engaged the people of the coast to enrol themselves in his 
army. He then marched upon Sardis, where he besieged 
Tabalus, who shut himself up in the citadel. 

156. When Cyrus, on his way to Agbatana, received these 
tidings, he turned to Croesus and said, ''Where will all this 
end, Croesus, thinkest thou ? It seemeth that these Lydians 
will not cease to cause trouble both to themselves and others. 
I doubt me if it were not best to sell them all for slaves. 
Methinks what I have now done is as if a man were to * kill 

native satrap, and dates the division 
of offices, which obtained in later 
times, from the very beginning of the 
conquest of Cyrus. But it does not 
appear that Pactyas had any per- 
manent office. He was to collect the 
treasures of the conquered people, 
and bring them (KOfii(fiy) with him to 
Ecbatana. Tabalus appears to have 
been left the sole governor of Sardis. 

^ Ctesias placed the conquest of the 
Bactrians and the Sacae before the 
capture of Croesus (Persic. Excerpt. 
§ 2A). Herodotus appears to have 
regarded their subjection as taking 
place between the Lydian and the 
Babylonian wars. (Vide infra, ch. 
177.) Bactria may be regarded as 
fairly represented by the modem 
Balkh. The Sacsa (Scyths) are more 
difficult to locate ; it only appears that 
their country bordered upon and lay 

beyond Bactria. Probably the sixteen 
years which intervened between the 
capture of Sardis (b.c. 554) and the 
taking of Babylon (b. c. 538) were occu- 
pied with those extensive conquests 
to the north and north-east, by which 
the Hyrcanians, Parthians, Sogdians, 
Arians of Herat, Sarangians, Choras- 
mians, Grandarians, &c. (as well as the 
Bactrians and the Sacse), were brought 
under the Persian yoke. At least 
there is no reason to believe these 
tribes to have formed any part either 
of the ancient Persian kingdom (supri, 
ch. 125) or of the Median empire. 

[Pliny (lib. vi. c. 23) has preserved 
a tradition of the destruction of 
Capissa, in Capissene, at the foot of 
the Median Caucasus {Kafshdn^ in the 
district of Kohistdnf north of Cabul), 
by Cyrus in one of his expeditions to 
the eastward.— -H. C. B.] 



Book I. 


the father and then spare the child.' * TiRm, who wert some- 
thing more than a father to thy people, I have seized and 
carried oflF, and to that people I have entrusted their city. 
Can I then feel surprise at their rebellion ? " Thus did Cyrus 
open to Croesus his thoughts ; whereat the latter, full of alarm 
lest Cyrus should lay Sardis in ruins, replied as follows: 
"Oh! my king, thy words are reasonable; but do not, I 
beseech thee, give full vent to thy anger, nor doom to de- 
struction an ancient city, guiltless alike of the past and of the 
present trouble. I caused the one, and in my own person 
now pay the forfeit. Pactyas has caused the other, he to 
whom thou gavest Sardis in charge ; let him bear the punish- 
ment. Grant, then, forgiveness to the Lydians, and to make 
sure of their never rebelling against thee, or alarming thee 
more, send and forbid them to keep any weapons of war, 
command them to wear tunics under their cloaks, and to put 
buskins upon their legs, and make them bring up their sons 
to cithern-playing, harping, and shop-keeping. So wilt thou 
soon see them become women instead of men, and there 
will be no more fear of their revolting from thee." 

156. Croesus thought the Lydians would even so be better 
oflf than if they were sold for slaves, and therefore gave the 
above advice to Cyrus, knowing that, unless he brought 
forward some notable suggestion, he would not be able to 
persuade him to alter his mind. He was likewise afraid lest, 
after escaping the danger which now pressed, the Lydians at 
some future time might revolt from the Persians and so bring 
themselves to ruin. The advice pleased Cyrus, who consented 
to forego his anger and do as Croesus had said. Thereupon he 
summoned to his presence a certain Mede, Mazares by name, 
and charged him to issue orders to the Lydians in accordance 
with the terms of Croesus' discourse. Further, he com- 
manded him to sell for slaves all who had joined the Lydians 

'Tbe licenoe hy whicli 071118 is 
nuide to quote the Greek poet Stasinns 
is Mtroel J defensible. (For the line 

referred to, see Aristot. Rhet ii. 21, 
and Clem. Al. Strom, vi p. T-iT.) 



in their attack upon Sardis, and above aught else to be sure 
that he brought Pactyas with him alive on his return. 
Having given these orders, Cyrus continued his journey 
towards the Persian territory. 

167. Pactyas, when news came of the near approach of the 
army sent against him, fled in terror to Cym6. Mazares, 
therefore, the Median general, who had marched on Sardis 
with a detachment of the army of Cyrus, finding on his 
arrival that Pactyas and his troops were gone, immediately 
entered the town. And first of all he forced the Lydians to 
obey the orders of his master, and change (as they did from 
that time) their entire manner of living.® Next, he despatched 
messengers to Cyme, and required to have Pactyas delivered 
up to him. On this the Cymaeans resolved to send to Bran- 
chidffi and ask the advice of the god. BranchidsB '' is situated 

• Mr. Orote (vol. iv. p. 268) observes 
with reason, that " the conyersation 
here reported, and the deliberate plan 
for enervating the Lydian character 
supposed to be pnrsued by Cyrus, is 
evidently an hypothesis to explain the 
contrast between the Lydians whom 
the Greeks saw before them, after two 
or three generations of slavery, and 
the old irresistible horsemen of whom 
they had heard in fame." This is far 
better than, with Heeren. (As. Nat. 
voL i p. 341), to regard snch treat, 
ment of a conquered people as part 
of the regular system of the Persian 

^ The temple of Apollo at Branchidse 
and the port Penormns still remain. 
The former is twelve miles from Mile- 
tus, nearly due soutlu It lies near 
the shore, about two miles inland from 
Cape Monodendri. It is a magni. 
ficent ruin of Ionic architecture. Dr. 
Chandler says of it : ** The memory of 
the pleasure which this spot afforded 
me will not be soon or easily erased. 
The columns yet entire are so ex- 
quisitely fine, the marble mass so vast 
and noble, that it is impossible perhaps 
to conceive greater beauty and ma- 
jesty of ruin." (Travels, vol. i. ch. 

xliii. p. 174.) A fine view of the ruins 
is given by M. Texier (Asie Minem^, 
vol. ii. opp. p. 326), and a tolerable 
one in the Ionian antiquitie8> pub- 
lished by the Dilettanti Society (vol. i. 
plate 2). The temple appears to have 
been, next to that of Diana at £phesu8, 
the largest of the Asiatic fanes. (See 
Leake's Asia Minor, Notes, p. 348.) 
Only three of the pillars are now 
standing. (Texier, vol. i. p. 46.) 

4 •< 

• • 

* « * « 


n n 



■ 4< 

■4* • •! 

Plan of the Temple. 
Length, 301 feet ; breadth, 166 feet. 

The port of Panormus was discovered 
by Dr. Chandler in the vicinity of the 
temple. " In descending from the 
mountain toward the gulf," he says, 
" I had remarked in the sea something 



Book L 

in the territory of Miletus, above the port of Panormus. 
There was an oracle there, established in very ancient times, 
which both the lonians and ^olians were wont often to 

158. Hither therefore the Cymaeans sent their deputies to 
make inquiry at the shrine, "What the gods would like them 
to do with the Lydian, Pactyas ? " The oracle told them, in 
reply, to give him up to the Persians. With this answer the 
messengers returned, and the jHJople of Cyme were ready to 
surrender him accordingly ; but as they were preparing to do 
so, Aristodicus, son of Heraclides, a citizen of distinction, 
hindered them. He declared that he distrusted the res]>onse, 
and believed that the messengers had reported it falsely; 
until at last another embassy, of which Aristodicus himself 
made part, was despatched, to repeat the former inquiry 
concerning Pactyas. 

159. On their arrival at the shrine of the god, Aristodicus, 
speaking on behalf of the whole body, thus addressed the 
oracle : " Oh ! king, Pactyas the Lydian, threatened by the 
Persians with a violent death, has come to us for sanctuary, 
and lo, they ask him at our hands, calling upon our nation 
to deliver him up. Now, though we greatly dread the Per- 
sian power, yet have we not been bold to give up our sup- 
pliant, till we have certain knowledge of thy mind, what thou 
wouldst have us to do." The oracle thus questioned gave the 
same answer as before, bidding them surrender Pactyas to 
the Persians ; whereupon Aristodicus, who had come prepared 
for such an answer, proceeded to make the circuit of the 
temple, and to take all the nests of young sparrows and other 
birds that he could find about the building. As he was thus 
employed, a voice, it is said, came forth from the inner 
sanctuary, addressing Aristodicus in these words : " Most 

white,--and going afterwards to ex- 
amino it, found the remains of a 
ciroalar pier belonging to the port, 
whioh was called Panomias. The 

stones, which are marble, and about 
six feet in diameter^ extend from near 
the shore, where are traces of build- 
nige." (Travels, vol. i. p. 173.) 



impious of men, what is this thou hast the face to do ? Dost 
thou tear my suppliants from my temple ? ** Aristodicus, at 
no loss for a reply, rejoined, '* Oh, king, art thou so ready to 
protect thy suppliants, and dost thou command the Cymeeans 
to give up a suppliant?*' *'Yes," returned the god, "I do 
command it, that so for the impiety you may the sooner 
perish, and not come here again to consult my oracle about 
the surrender of suppliants." 

160. On the receipt of this answer the Cymaeans, unwiUing 
to bring the threatened destruction on themselves by giving up 
the man, and afraid of having to endure a siege if they con- 
tinued to harbour him, sent Pactyas away to Mytilene. On 
this Mazares despatched envoys to the Mytilenaeans to demand 
the fugitive of them, and they were preparing to give him up 
for a reward (I cannot say with certainty how large, as the 
bargain was not completed), when the Cymasans, hearing what 
the MytilensBans were about, sent a vessel to Lesbos, and con- 
veyed away Pactyas to Chios. From hence it was that he 
was surrendered. The Chians dragged him from the temple of 
Minerva Poliuchus ® and gave him up to the Persians, on con- 
dition of receiving the district of Atarneus, a tract of Mysia 
opposite to Lesbos,® as the price of the surrender.^ Thus did 
Pactyas fall into the hands of his pursuers, who kept a strict 

■ That is, " Minerya, Guardian of 
the citadel/' which was the ir6\is («ot* 
^^<»xV) ot each city. Not only at 
Athens, bat among the Ionian cities 
generally, there was a tem])le of 
Minerva (^AO^yri) within the precincts 
of the Acropolis. Homer even puts 
one in the citadel of Ilimn. (Iliad, vi. 

* Atameofl lay to the north of the 
iEolis of Herodotus, almost ezsKstly 
opposite to Mytil^n^. There was a 
town of the same name within the 
territory. Its vicinity to the river 
CaiciiB is indicated below (vi. 28). It 
continued in later times to be Chian 
territory. (See the story of Hermoti. 
muB, viii. 106, .and cf. Scylax. Peripl. 
p. 88.) 

* The Pscndo-Plutarch ascribes the 
whole of this narrative to the * malig- 
nity ' of Herodotus (De Malign. Herod., 
p. 859), and quotes Charon of Lamp- 
sacus as conclusive against its truUi. 
But the silence of Charon proves 
notliing, and the passage quoted from 
him is quite consistent with the state- 
ments made by Herodotus. There is 
no need, with Bahr (in loc), to dis- 
pute the veracity of Charon. Charon 
wrote — " Pactyas, when he heard of 
the approach of the Persian army, 
fled first to Mytil^n^, afterwards to 
Chios. Cyrus however obtained pos- 
session of him." A man might write 
so, believing all that Herodotus re- 
lates. See Mr. Grote's note (vol. iv. 
p. 270) 



Book I. 

watch upon him, that they might be able to produce him 
before Cyrus. For a long time afterwards none of the Chians 
would use the barley of Atameus to place on the heads of 
victims, or make sacrificial cakes of the com grown there, but 
the whole produce of the land was excluded from all their 

161. Meanwhile Mazares, after he had recovered Pactyas 
from the Chians, made war upon those who had taken part in 
the attack on Tabalus, and in the first place took Priene and 
sold the inhabitants for slaves, after which he overran the 
whole plain of the Maeander and the district of Magnesia,* 
both of which he gave up for pillage to the soldiery. He then 
suddenly sickened and died. 

162. Upon his death Harpagus was sent down to the coast 
to succeed to his command. He also was of the race of the 
Medes, being the man whom the Median king, Astyages, 
feasted at the unholy banquet, and who lent his aid to place 
Cyrus upon the throne. Appointed by Cyrus to conduct the 
war in these parts, he entered Ionia, and took the cities by 
means of mounds. Forcing the enemy to shut themselves up 
within their defences, he heaped mounds of earth against their 
walls,® and thus carried the towns. Phocae'a was the city 
against which he directed his first attack. 

163. Now the Phocaeans were the first of the Greeks who 
performed long voyages, and it was they who made the Greeks 
acquainted with the Adriatic and with Tyrrhenia, with Iberia, 
and the city of Tartessus.* The vessel which they used in 

' Not Magnesia under Sipylus, bnt 
Magnesia on the Mceandevy one of the 
few ancient Greek settlements situ, 
ated far inland. Its site is the 
modem Inekbazar (not Gazel-hissar, 
as Chandler supposed, which is Tral- 
les) on the north side of the Meeander, 
about one mile and a half from it, and 
thirty miles from the sea. (Leake, pp. 

' This plan seems not to have been 
known to the Lydians. The Persians 

had learnt it, in all probability, from 
the Assyrians, by whom it had long 
been practised. (2 Kings xiz. 32. 
IsaisJi xxxvii. 33. Layard's Nineveh 
and Babylon, pp. 73, 140, Ac.) A 
detailed account of this mode of 
attack, and the way of meeting it, ia 
gfivcn by Thucyd. (ii. 75-6). 

* The Iberia of Herodotus is the 
Spanish Peninsula. Tartessus was a 
colony founded there very early by 
the Phoenicians. It was situated be. 



their voyages was not the round-built merchant-ship, but the 
long penteconter. On their arrival at Tartessus, the king 
of the country, whose name was Arganthonius, took a liking 
to them. This monarch reigned over the Tartessians for 
eighty years,* and hved to be a hundred and twenty years old. 
He regarded the Phocffians with so much favour as, at first, to 
beg them to quit Ionia and settle in whatever part of his 
country they liked. Afterwards, finding that he could not 
prevail upon them to agree to this, and hearing that the 
Mede was growing great in their neighbourhood, he gave them 
money to build a wall about their town, and certainly he must 
have given it with a bountiful hand, for the town is many 
furlongs in circuit, and the wall is built entirely of great 
blocks of stone skilfully fitted together.® The wall, then, was 
built by his aid. 

164. Harpagus, having advanced against the Fhocseans 
with his army, laid siege to their city, first, however, offering 
them terms. "It would content him," he said, '*if the 
Phocaeans would agree to throw down one of their battlements, 
and dedicate one dwelling-house to the king." The Phocaeans, 
sorely vexed at the thought of becoming slaves, asked a single 

yond the straits at the mouth of the 
Bsetis (Guadalquivir) t near the site of 
the modem Cadiz. (Strabo, iii. p. 199.) 
Tarsus, Tatessus^Tarshish, are variants 
of the same word. [Tarshish, in the 
Hamitio tongne, which probably pre- 
TBOed on the coast of Phcenicia when 
tiie first colonists sailed for Spain 
meant "the younger brother" — a 
very suitable name for a colony. — 

• Pliny (vii. 48) says Anacreon gave 
him a life of 160 years, and mentions 
other reigns of 160 and 200, which he 
thinks fabulous ; but he considers the 
80 years of Arganthdnius certain. He 
calliB him king of Tartessus, and of 
Gades, as Cicero does (de Senect. 19). 
In point of age Arganthdnius was 
moderate compared to the lUyrian 
Bando, who (Pliny ib.) lived 500 

years. — [G.W.] Phlegon of Tralles also 
mentioned the 160 years of Argan- 
thdnius in his tract concerning long- 
lived persons (Jltpl fuucpofiioDy). Except 
the Eiythrsean Sibyl, who had lived a 
thousand years (!), it was, he said, the 
extremest case of longevity upon 
record. See his fragments in Miiller's 
Fragm. Hist. Gr. vol. iii. p. 610. 
Fr. 29. 

• It is evident from this that, despite 
the two destructions by Harpagus, 
and the generals of Darius (infra, vi. 
32), the old Phoceea continued to exist 
in the time of Herodotus. It does not 
seem certain when the new city 
within the Smymean Gulf (New 
Fogcea) superseded the old city in the 
bay of Cym^, of which some traces 
still remain at PalcBa-Fogcsa, (Chand. 
ler, i. p. 88.) 



Book I. 

day to deliberate on the answer they shoidd return, and 
besought Harpagus during that day to draw off his forces 
from the walls. Harpagus replied, ** that he understood well 
enough what they were about to do, but nevertheless he would 
grant their request." Accordingly the troops were withdrawn, 
and the Phocacans forthwith took advantage of their absence 
to launch their penteconters, and put on board their wives and 
children, their household goods, and even the images of their 
gods, with all the votive oflFerings from the fanes, except the 
paintings and the works in stone or brass, which were left 
behind. With the rest they embarked, and putting to sea, set 
sail for Chios. The Persians, on their return, took possession 
of an empty town. 

165. Arrived at Chios, the Phocaeans made oflFers for the 
purchase of the islands called the (EnussflB,'' but the Chians 
refused to part with them, fearing lest the Phocaeans should 
establish a factory there, and exclude their merchants from 
the commerce of those seas. On their refusal, the Phocaeans, 
as Arganthonius was now dead, made up their minds to sail 
to Cymus (Corsica), where, twenty years before, following the 
direction of an oracle,® they had founded a city, which was 
called Alalia. Before they set out, however, on this voyage, 
they sailed once more to Phocaea, and surprising the Persian 
troops appointed by Harpagus to garrison the to\Mi, put them 
all to the sword. After this they laid the heaviest curses on 
the man who should draw back and forsake the armament ; 

'The (EnasssB lay between Chios 
and the mainland, opposite the north- 
em extremity of that island (Lat. 
88^ 830* They are the modem Spal. 
madorij five in number. One is of 
much larger size than the rest, which 
explains the statements of Pliny and 
Stephen of Bysantinm, that ffhrnsfwe 
waa cm uland. There is an exoeUent 

*A most important influence was 
exeroised by the Greek oracles, espe. 
oiaUy that of Delphi, over the course 
of HeUenio oolonisation. Further in- 

stances occur, iv. 155, 157, 159 ; ▼. 42. 
In connection with this last passage, 
Herodotus lets fall a remark which 
shows that it was almost the invari- 
able practice to consult the oracle as 
to the plsKse to bo colonised. Dorieua, 
he says, on first leading out his colony 
from Sparta, " neither took counsel of 
the oracle at Delphi, as to the place 
whereto he should go, nor observed any 
of the customary usages." (otfrc t^ 
iy AcA^t<ri XPV^'^''IP^V X/"l^*^*''®*» '* 
fiirriya yrjif Kritruy tj?, otht wovhcras oMp 
tSkp yotii(ofi4yMv.) 

Chap. 164-166. 



and having dropped a heavy mass of iron into the sea, swore 
never to return to FhocsBa till that mass reappeared upon the 
surface. Nevertheless, as they were preparing to depart for 
Cymus, more than half of their number were seized with such 
sadness and so great a longing to see once more their city 
and their ancient homes, that they broke the oath by which 
they had bound themselves and sailed back to Phocffia. 

166. The rest of the Phocaeans, who kept their oath, pro- 
ceeded without stopping upon their voyage, and when they 
came to Cymus estabUshed themselves along with the earlier 
settlers at Alaha and built temples in the place. For five 
years they annoyed their neighbours by plundering and pil- 
laging on all sides, until at length the Carthaginians and 
Tyrrhenians® leagued against them, and sent each a fleet of 
sixty ships to attack the town. The Phocseans, on their part, 
manned all their vessels, sixty in number, and met their 
enemy on the Sardinian sea. In the engagement which 
followed the Phocaeans were victorious, but their success was 

• The naval power of the Tyrrhe- 
nianB was about this time at its height. 
Popalonia and Caere (or Agylla) were 
the most important of their maritime 
towns. Like the Greeks at a some- 
what earlier period (Thucyd. i. 5), the 
Tyrrhenians at this time and for some 
centnries afterwards were pirates 
(Strabo, y. p. 310 and vi. p. 386. Diod. 
Sic. XV. 14; Ephorus, 52, ed. Didot ; 
Aristid. Bhod. ii. p. 798). Corsica 
probably was under their dominion 
before the Phocseans made their set- 
tlement at Alalia. Its foundation 
would be a declaration of hostilities. 
The after-coming of a fresh body of 
emigrants, with a powerful navy, 
would still further exasperate the 
Tyrrhenians. Hitherto they had shared 
the commerce of the Western half of 
the Mediterranean with the Cartha- 
ginians. The Phocsoan voyages to 
Tartessus, which had for security's 
Bake to be performed in ships of war 
instead of merchantmen (supra, ch. 
163), cannot have interfered much 
with their mercantile operations. It 

was different when PhdcsBa attempted 
to set itself up as a third power in the 
seas, which the Tyrrhenians regarded 
as their own, or at least as theirs con- 
jointly with the Carthaginians. The 
insignificant settlement at Massilia, 
which maintained itself with diflSculty 
(Liv. V. 34), had been perhaps beneath 
their jealousy. It was founded as 
early as B.C. 600 (Scymnus Chius, 
215-8). Alalia, founded about B.C. 
572, exactly opposite their coast, and 
on an island which they claimed as 
theirs, and now raised by the fresh 
colonisation to great importance, was 
a most dangerous rival. Hence the 
attack of the two great maritime 
powers upon the interloper. The 
Phocseans were swept away, and the 
Tyrrhenians resumed their former 
position and conduct, till Hiero of 
Syracuse, provoked by their piracies 
and pillage of Greek cities, broke 
their power in the great battle of 
which Pindar sings (Pyth. i. 137-41). 
This was B.C. 474. (Clinton, F. H. 
vol. ii. p. 36.) 




Book I. 

only a sort of Cadmeian victory.^ They lost forty ships in the 
battle, and the twenty which remained came out of the 
engagement with beaks so bent and blunted as to be no longer 
serviceable. The Phocaeans therefore sailed back again to 
Alalia, and taking their wives and children on board, with 
such portion of their goods and chattels as the vessel could 
bear, bade adieu to Cymus and sailed to Bhegium. 

167. The Carthaginians and Tyrrhenians, who had got into 
their hands many more than the Phocseans from among the 
crews of the forty vessels that were destroyed, landed their 
captives upon the coast after the fight, and stoned them all to 
death. Afterwards, when sheep, or oxen, or even men of the 
district of Agylla passed by the spot where the murdered 
Phocaeans lay, their bodies became distorted, or they were 
seized with palsy, or they lost the use of some of their limbs. 
On this the people of Agylla sent to Delphi to ask the oracle 
how they might expiate their sin.^ The answer of the 
Pythoness required them to institute the custom, which they 
still observe, of honouring the dead Phocaeans with magnificent 
funeral rites, and solemn games, both gymnic and equestrian. 
Such, then, was the fate that befel the Phocaean prisoners. 
The other Phocaeans, who had fled to Rhegium, became after 
a while the founders of the city called Vela,® in the district of 

* A Cadmeian victory was one from 
which the victor received more hurt 
than profit (Snidas in voc. KoBfitla 
yUtn), Plutarch derives the proverb 
from the combat between Polynicea 
and Etoocles (De Amor. Frat. p. 488, 
A.) ; Eofitathios from the victory of 
the Thebans over the Seven Chiefs, 
which only prodnoed their after-de- 
feat by the Epigoni (ad Hom. U. iv. 
407). Arrian nsed the phrase in an 
entirely different sense. (Fr. 66.) 

' Niebnhr draws two conclnsions of 
Bome importance from this narrative 
— ^first, that Agylla had not yet been 
oonqnerod by the Etruscans, bat was 
pnroly Tyrrhenian, i.e. (according to 
his notion) Pelasgic. Otherwise, he 
says, they would have been content 

with their own haruapiqf, and would 
not have sent to Delphi. Secondly, 
that in this war the Agylheans were 
not assisted by any of their neigh- 
bours, since the Divine judgment feU 
on them alone (Bom. Hist. vol. i. p. 
124, E.T.). But if the massacre took 
place on their territory, as it evi- 
dently did, the judgment, being at- 
tached to the scene of the slaughter, 
could only affect to any extent the 
inhabitants of the district. 

' This is the town more commonly 
called Velia or Elea, where soon after- 
wards the great Eleatic school of phi- 
losophy arose. It is conjectured that 
the Phocaeans were " joined by othor 
exiles from Ionia, in particular by 
the Colophonian philosopher and poet 



(Enotria. This city they colonised, upon the showing of a 
man of Posidonia,* who suggested that the oracle had not 
meant to bid them set up a town in Cymus the island, but 
set up the worship of Cymus the hero.* 

168. Thus fared it with the men of the city of Phocsea in 
Ionia. They of Teos ® did and suflfered almost the same ; for 
they too, when Harpagus had raised his mound to the height 
of their defences, took ship, one and all, and sailing across 
the sea to Thrace, founded there the city of Abdera.^ The 
site was one which Timesius of ClazomensB had previously 
tried to colonise, but without any lasting success, for he was 
expelled by the Thracians. Still the Teians of Abdera worship 
him to this day as a hero. 

169. Of all the lonians these two states alone, rather than 
submit to slavery, forsook their fatherland. The others ( I 
except Miletus) resisted Harpagus no less bravely than those 
who fled their country, and performed many feats of arms, 
each fighting in their own defence, but one after another they 
suffered defeat; the cities were taken, and the inhabitants 
submitted, remaining in their respective countries, and obey- 
ing the behests of their new lords. Miletus, as I have already 
mentioned, had made terms with Cyrus, and so continued at 
peace. Thus was continental Ionia once more reduced to 
servitude; and when the lonians of the islands saw their 

Xenophanes." (Grrote's HiBtoiy of 
Greece, voL iv. p. 276.) There seems 
to be no doubt that Xenophanes was 
one of the founders of the school (Plat. 
Sophist, ad init. Clem. Alex. Strom, i. 
p. 301) , but the time at which ho 
lived is very uncertain. (Cf . Clinton's 
F. H. vol. ii. pp. 15, 35.) 

^ This is the place now known as 
Pautum, BO famous for its beautiful 
mins. (See Strab. v. p. 361.) 

' Cymus was a son of Hercules 
(Servins ad Virg. Eclog. ix. 30.) 

• Teos was situated on the south 
aide of the isthmus which joined the 
peninsula of Erytlira; to the mainland, 
very nearly opposite Clazomena3 
(Strab. xiv. p. 922). It was the birth- 

place of Anacreon, and according to 
Strabo (ibid.) of ITccatoous the chroni- 
cler. Considerable remains of it, es- 
pecially a temple of Bacchus and a 
theatre, still exist near Sighajih, 
(Chandler's Travels, ch. xxvii. p. Ill ; 
Leake's Ai^ia Minor, p. 350.) 

A certain numlwr of the Teians 
returned to their native city (Strab. 
1. 8. c), which rose from its ruins and 
became once more an important place. 
In the Ionian revolt the Teians fur- 
nished seventeen ships to the com- 
bined fleet (infra, vi. 8), when the Pho- 
copns could only furnish three. 

'' For the site of Abdera, vide infra, 
vii. 109. 

288 bus' project. Book I. 

brethren upon the mainland subjugated, they also, dreading 
the like, gave themselves up to Cyrus.® 

170. It was while the lonians were in this distress, but still, 
amid it all, held their meetings, as of old, at the Panionium, 
that Bias of Priene, who was present at the festival, recom- 
mended (as I am informed) a project of the very highest 
wisdom, which would, had it been embraced, have enabled the 
lonians to become the happiest and most flourishing of the 
Greeks. He exhorted them ** to join in one body, set sail for 
Sardinia, and there found a single Pan-Ionic city; so they 
would escape from slavery and rise to great fortune, being 
masters of the largest island in the world,® and exercising 
dominion even beyond its bounds ; whereas if they stayed in 
Ionia, he saw no prospect of their ever recovering their lost 
freedom.*' Such was the counsel which Bias gave the lonians 
in their affliction. Before their misfortunes began, Thales, a 
man of Miletus, of Phoenician descent, had recommended a 
different plan. He counselled them to estabUsh a single seat 
of government, and pointed out Teos as the fittest place for 
it; **for that,'* he said, *'was the centre of Ionia. Their 
other cities might still continue to enjoy their own laws, just 
as if they were independent states." This also was good advice. 

B This statement appears to bo too He pnts the assertion into the month 
general. Samos certainly maintained j of IliFtiams (v. 106), and again (vi. 2) 
her independence tiU the reign of repeats the statement, without ex- 

Darins (ride infra, iii. 120). The 
efforts of the Cnidians to tnm their 
peninsula into an island (infra, ch. 
174) would show that an insular posi- 

pressing any doubt of the fact. He 
thus a])pears to have been entirely 
ignorant of the size .of the British 
Islands (the Cassiterides, with which 

tion was still regarded as a security. the Carthaginians traded, iii. 115), ) 

Probably Bhodes and Cos continued 
free. The ground which Herodotus 
had for his statement appears to have 
been the fact that Leslx>s and Chios 
came to terms, acknowledging the 
Persian hegemony. They did bo to 
presenre their possessions upon the 
mainland. (Supra, ch. 160; infra, y. 

* Herodotus appears to have been 
entirely conyinced that there was no 
island in the world ao large as Sardinia. 

well as of Ceylon (the Ophir of Solo- 
mon). It has been gfenerally said that 
he also showed ignorance in making 
Sardinia larger than Sicily ; but k-d- 
miral Smyth has recently declared 
that he is right in so doing. See his 
* Memoir on the Mediterranean,' pp. 
28-9. On the fluctuations of opinion 
with respect to the relative size of 
these two islands, consult note on Book 
V. ch. 106. 



171. After conquering the lonians, Harpagus proceeded to 
attack the Garians, the Caunians, and the Lycians. The 
lonians and -ZEolians were forced to serve in his army. Now, 
of the above nations the Carians are a race who came into the 
mainland from the islands.^ In ancient times they were 
subjects of king Minos, and went by the name of Leleges," 
dwelling among the isles, and, so far as I have been able to 
push my inquiries, never hable to give tribute to any man. 
They served on board the ships of king Minos whenever he 
required ; and thus, as he was a great conqueror and prospered 
in his wars, the Carians were in hig day the most famous by 
&r of all the nations of the earth. They Ukewise were the 
inventors of three things, the use of which was borrowed from 
them by the Greeks ; they were the first to fasten crests on 
helmets ^ and to put devices on shields, and they also invented 
handles for shields.* In the earlier times shields were without 
handles, and their wearers managed them by the aid of a 
leathern thong, by which they were slung round the neck and 

* The early occupation of the Cy- 
cladee by the Carians is asserted by 
Thncydides (i. 8), who addaces as 
proof the fact that when the Athenians 
purified Delos by the removal of all 
corpseB buried in the island, above 
half the bodies disinterred were found 
to be Carian. This was apparent by 
the maimer of their sepulture. 

' Most ancient writers distinguished 
the Carians from the Leieges (Hom. 
II. X. 428-9 ; Pherecyd. Fr. Ill ; Phi- 
lipp. Theang. Fr. 1 ; Strab. vii. p. 465). 
The latter appear to have been one of 
the chief of those kindred races, gene- 
rally called Pelasg^an, which first peo- 
pled Greece. They are not, however, 
BO much a tribe of the Pelasgians, as a 
sister people. Tradition extends them 
in early times from Lycia to Acamania. 
Besides these two countries, where 
they are placed by Aristotle (Frag. 
127) and Philip of Theangela (Fr. 3), 
we find them in Caria (ib. Fr. 1 ; Strab. 
xiv. p. 945), in Mount Ida (Nymph. 
Fr. 10), in Samos (Menodot. Fr. 1), in 

VOL. I. 

Chios (Pherecyd. 1. s. c), in Thessaly 
(Suid. ap. Steph. Byz. ad voc." Afivpos)y 
in Megara (Pausan. iv. xxxvi. § 1), in 
BoBotia (Arist. Fr. 103), in Locris (ib. 
and Fr. 127), in ^tolia (Fr. 127), in 
Laconia (Pausan. in. i. § 1), and in 
Leucas (Arist. Fr. 127). That they 
formed a portion of the ancient inha* 
bitants of Crete is also not improbable.<^[^ 
(See, besides this passage of Hero-^|^ 
dotus, Strab. xiv. p. 945.) They seem 
to have approached far more nearly to 
the Pelasgic character than the Carians, 
who belonged rather to the Asiatic 
type. When the Carians, driven from 
the islands of the^gean by the Greeks, 
fell back upon the continent, they found 
Lelcges still occupying the coast, whom 
they conquered and reduced to the con- 
dition of serfs. (Strab. 1. s. c. j Philip. 
Theang. Fr. 1.) 

* Sec note to Book iv. ch. 180. 

* Alcoeus spoke of the \6<pos Kopiic^s, 
and Anacreon of the 6xayov Kapucofoy4s 
(Strab. xiv. p. 945). 




left shoulder.*^ Long after the time of Minos, the Carians 
were driven from the islands by the lonians and Dorians, and 
80 settled uj>on the mainland. The above is the account which 
the Cretans give of the Carians : the Carians themselves say 
very diflferently. They maintain that they are the aboriginal 
inhabitants of the part of the mainland where they now dwell,® 
and never had any other name than that which they still 
bear: and in proof of this they show an ancient temple of 
Carian Jove "^ in the country of the Mylasians,® in which the 
Mysians and Lydians have the right of worshipping, as brother 
races to the Carians : for Lydus and Mysus, they say, were 
brothers of Car. These nations, therefore, have the aforesaid 
right ; but such as are of a different race, even though they 

* Eom^r g^tKMnllf ropfewjTits his 
hcroca iwi maiiftgjn(^ their shirUlii in 
this way [U. ii- 388; it. TOO; li, 38; 
xiL 401, ic,), SoDQctimea, however, 
ho speaks of ahieldtt with liaTidlpB to 
them (viii. 193), This may be an 

The i?;t«*^»' tatiflt bo diHtingTiiBhed 
trom th<^ nipiral. The fonnor u^s a 
bar acTDas tho midtllo of the shield, 
thnm^ which the &rm was put. The 
liLtt^^r WHA a leathern thong near the 
rim of the fltitld, whicli was ffraeped 
hj the Irnrid. The atiuoiod illaatnition 
«&nrs clearly tho difforsuoo. 

• It Bccms probable that the Carians, 
who were a kindred nation to the 
Lydians and the Mysians (see the 
Essay, * On the Ethnic Affinities of 
the Nations of Western Asia'), be- 
longed orijonally to the Asiatic con- 
tinent, and thence spread to tho 
islands. "When the Greek oc»lonisation 
of tho islands be^n, the native Carian 
population would naturally fall back 
uj)on the main mass of the nation 
which had continued in Asia. Thus 
both the Carian and the Greek accounts 
would have truth in them. 

7 Xanthus seems to have syxiken of 
this f]^)d under the name of Carius, and 
to have distinfsfuished him from Jupi. 
ter. Carius, he said, was the son of 
Jupiter and Torrhebia ; he was taught 
music by tlic Nymphs, and communi- 
cated the knowledge to the Lydians. 
(Fr. 2.) The worship of Carius in tho 
district of Lydia called Torrhebia, is 
mentioned by Stephen (ad voc. 

* Mylasa was an inland town of 
Caria, al)out 20 miles from the sea. 
It was the capital of the later Carian 
kingdom (b.c. 385-334). The name 
still continues in tho modem ^Telasso 
(Chandler, vol. i. p. 234; Leake, p. 
230), where there are extensive re- 
mains (Follows's Lycia, pp. 66-75). 

Chap. 171-173. THE CAUNIANS — ^THE LYCIANS. 


have come to use the Carian tongue, are excluded from this 

172. The Caunians,' in my judgment, are aboriginals ; but 
by their own account they came from Crete. In their lan- 
guages, either they have approximated to the Carians, or the 
Carians to them — on this point I cannot speak with certainty. 
In their customs, however, they differ greatly from the Carians, 
and not only so, but from all other men. They think it a 
most honourable practice for friends or persons of the same 
age, whether they be men, women, or children, to meet 
together in large companies, for the purpose of drinking wine. 
Again, on one occasion they determined that they would no 
longer make use of the foreign temples which had been long 
established among them, but would worship their own old 
ancestral gods alone. Then their whole youth took arms, 
and striking the air with their spears, marched to the 
Calyndic frontier,^ declaring that they were driving out the 
foreign gods. 

173. The Lycians are in good truth anciently from Crete ; 
which island, in former days, was wholly peopled with 
barbarians. A quarrel arising there between the two sons of 
Europa, Sarpedon and Minos, as to which of them should be 
king, Minos, whose party prevailed, drove Sarpedon and his 

• The Cannians occnpicd a Bmall dis- 
trict on the coast, which is usnally said 
to intervene between Garia and Lycia 
(Scjl. Peripl. p. 92; Strab. xiv.p.932). 
Their coins and architecture show them 
to have been really Lycians (Fcllows's 
Lycian Coins, pp. 5, 0). Cannus, their 
capital, which has been identified by 
an inscription (Geop:i"aph. Journal, vol. 
xii. p. 158), was situated on the rijfht 
bank of a small stream (now the Koi- 
gez), which carries oft the waters of a 
large lake distant al)out 10 miles in- 
land. There are considerable remains, 
including some walls of Cyclopian 
masonry. The fc<*neral localities are 
correctly given in Kiepert's Supple- 
mentary Maps (Berlin, 1851). 

^ Calynda was on the borders of 

Caria and Lycia. It is sometimes 
reckoned in the one, sometimes in the 
other (Strab. xiv. 1. s. c. ; Pliu. H. N. 
V. 27; Ptol. V. 3 ; Steph. Byz. ad voc.). 
Strabo says it was GO stadia (7 miles) 
from the sea. Kiepert, in his Supple, 
mentary Maps, places it on the DoUornon 
Chaif the Indus or Calbis. But no 
traces of ruins have been found on that 
stream (see the Geograph. Joum. xii. 
p. 162). Sir C. Fellows believed that 
he had discovered the true site 20 
miles east of the Calbis, in a moun- 
tainous tract near the gulf of Makri 
(Account of Discoveries, pp. 103, 104). 
These ruins had a decidedly Lycian 
character, but they seem to lie too 
near the coast. 



Book L 

followers into banishment. The exiles sailed to Asia,* and 
landed on the Milyan territory. Milyas was the ancient name 
of the country now inhabited by the Lycians : ' the MilyaB of 
the present day were, in those times, called Solymi.* So long 

* It is donbtf ul whether there is any 
trnth at all in this tale, which would 
connect the Greeks with Lycia. One 
thing is clear, namely, that the real 
Lycian people of history were an 
entirely distinct race from the Greeks. 
-^ The Lycian art indeed, with whi9h 
I \\ most persons are familiar from the 
^ * ' specimens in the British Musenm, 
bears undoubtedly in its general cha- 
racter a considerable resemblance to 
the Greek. But the sculptures which 
belong to the early or purely Lycian 
period have the least resemblance, 
being in many respects more like the 
Persepolitan (PcUows's Lyoia, p. 173). 
And it is not impossible that Greek 
art may hare received an impress from 
Lycia, for Lycian artists would natu- 
rally flock to Athens during the gov- 
ernment of Pericles. Certainly the 
langniage of the Lycians, from which 
their ethnic t^'pe can best be judged, 
is utterly unlike the Greek. It is con- 
siderably different in its alphabet, 
nearly half the letters being peculiar. 
In its general cast it is yet more un- 
like, its leading characteristic being 
the number and variety of the vowels, 
and their marked preponderance over 
the consonants. Its roots, where they 
have been satisfactorily made out, are, 
with scarcely a single exception, alien 
from the Greek. While undoubtedly 
Iiido-Kuropean in type, the language 
must be pronounced as remote from 
that of the Greeks as any two branches 
that can be named of the common 
stock. The Indo-European tongue to 
which Lycian approaches most nearly 
is Zend, but it stands to Zend in the 
relation of a sister and not a daughter. 
If then there was any early Greek 
colonisation of Lycia it must have been 
insignificant, or at any rate the Greek 
element must have been soon sunk 
and merged in the Asiatic. (See Mr. 
D. Sharpens Letter in Sir C. Fellows's i 

Lycia, pp. 427 et seqq, ; and compare 
Forbes and S])ratt, vol. ii. App. i.) 

' Milyas continued to be a district 
of Lycia in the ag^e of Aug^tus 
(Strabo, xiii. pp. 904-5.) It was then 
the high plain (inclosed by Taurus on 
the north, Climax and Solyma on the 
east, Massicytus on the south-wesi, 
and two lower ranges, one joining 
Taurus and Massicytus on the north- 
west, and the other Massicytus and 
Solyma on the south-east) in which 
stands the modem Almali, the largest 
town in Lycia, and almost the largest 
in Asia Minor. It is a table-land 
about 4000 feet above the sea-level, 
and has no exit for its waters, which 
form the lake of Avelan (Fellows's 
Lycia, pp. 227-9). Sir C. Fellows 
found in this district a curious monu- 
ment (figured p. 233), on which the 
word MtAt^ occurred. The remainder 
of the inscription was illegible. 

The Milyans were undoubtedly an 
entirely distinct people from the Ly- 
cians. There are no Lycian remains in 
their country. (See Fellows's Lycian 
Coins, Map.) Bochart derives their 
name from ^kSid, which is used by the 
Talmudical writers for ** mountainous 
places." (Geograph. Sac. p. 364, 1. 4.) 
They were probably of Semitic origin. 
(See the next note.) 

* The Solymi were mentioned by 
ChaDrilus, who was contemporary with 
Herodotus and wrote a poem on the 
Persian War, as forming a part of the 
army of Xerxes (ap. Euseb. Prsep. Ev. 
ix. 9). He placed them among hills 
of the same name along the shores of 
a broad lake, which Col. Leake con- 
jectures to have been that of Egerdir 
(Geograph. Joum. xii. p. 165). Their 
language, according to him, was Phoeni- 
cian. Strabo regards both the Mil- 
yans (xiv. p. 952) and Cabalians (xiii. 
p. 904) as Solymi, and considers that 
a people of this name had once held 



as Sarpedon reigned, his followers kept the name which they 
brought with them from Crete, and were called TermilsB, as 
the Lycians still are by those who live in their neighbour- 
hood.* But after Lycus, the son of Pandion, banished from 
Athens by his brother ^geus, had found a refuge with 
Sarpedon in the country of these TermilaB, they came, in 
course of time, to be called from him Lycians.® Their 
customs are partly Cretan, partly Carian. They have, how- 
ever, one singular custom in which they differ from every 
other nation in the world. They take the mother's and not 
the father's name. Ask a Lycian who he is, and he answers 
by giving his own name, that of his mother, and so on in the 
female line. Moreover, if a free woman marry a man who is 
a slave, their children are full citizens; but if a free man 
marry a foreign woman, or live with a concubine, even though 

the heights of Tanros from Lycia to 
Pi8idia(i. p. 32). That the Pisidians 
were Solymi is asserted by Pliny (v. 
27) and Stephen (ad voo. IluriBia), 
The same people left their name in 
Lycia to Mount Solyma. Here we 
seem to have a trace of a Semitic oc- 
cupation of these countries preceding 
the Indo-European. (Cump. Ilom. II. 
vi. 184.) For additional particulars of 
the Solymi, see Bochart's Crcogr. Sacr. 
part II. book i. ch. 6. 

• It would seem by the Lycian in- 
scriptions that Termilso (written Tra- 
jnelit TPXMEA^; compare the 
TptfdXcu of HecataDUs, Fr. 364, and the 
TptfuXus of Stephen) was not only the 
name by which the Lycians were 
known to their neighbours, but the 
only name by which they (or rather 
their principal tribe) called themselves. 
Lycia and Lycians (written Aixla and 
Aintoi) are found in the Greek portions 
of the inscriptions, but in the Lycian 
there is no word at all resembling 
these. Trameld, on the other hand, 
is a name of frequent occurrence, and 
even lingers in the country at the 
present day. There is a village called 
Tremili in the mountains of the extreme 
north of the ancient Lycia, not far 

from the lalce of Ghieul Hissar. 
(See Geograph. Joum. vol. zii p. 166; 
Spratt and Forbes's Lycia, vol. i. p. 

Sir C. Fellows thinks that the Ly- 
cians, whose real ethnic title is un- 
known to us, were divided into three 
tribes, the Tramelas, the TroSs, and the 
TekkefsB (?), whom he identifies with 
Cauniansof Herodotus. The Tramelsa 
were the most important tribe, occupy- 
ing all southern Lycia from the g^ulf 
of Adalia to the valley of the Xanthns. 
Above them on the cast were the 
districts called Milyas and Cibyratis, 
inhabited by tribes not Lycian ; while 
the upper part of the valley of the 
Xanthus, and the mountain tract to 
the westward, as far as the range 
which bounds on the east the valley 
of the Calbis, was inhabited by the 
TroCa ; and the region west of that to 
the borders of Caria by the TekkefsB. 
(See the Essay on the Coins of Lyoia, 
London, 1855.) 

^ This may possibly be so far true 
that the Greek fancy to call the Ter- 
milsd Lycians may have originated in 
the emigration of a certain Lycus, at 
the head of a band of malcontents, 
into these regions. 



Book L 

he be the first person in the State, the children forfeit all the 
rights of citizenship. 

174. Of these nations, the Carians submitted to Harpagus 
without performing any brilliant exploits. Nor did the Greeks 
who dwelt in Caria behave with any greater gallantry. Among 
them were the Cnidians, colonists from Lacedaemon, who 
occupy a district facing the sea, which is called Triopium. 
This region adjoins upon the Bybassian Chersonese; and, 
except a very small space, is surrounded by the sea, being 
bounded on the north by the Ceramic Gulf, and on the south 
by the channel towards the islands of Syme and Rhodes.^ 
While Harpagus was engaged in the conquest of Ionia, the 
Cnidians, wishing to make their country an island, attempted 
to cut through this narrow neck of land, which was no more 
than five furlongs across from sea to sea. Their whole 
territory lay inside the isthmus ; for where Cnidia ends 
towards the mainland, the isthmus begins which they were 
now seeking to cut through. The work had been commenced, 
and many hands were employed upon it, when it was observed 
that there seemed to be something unusual and imnatural in 
the number of wounds that the workmen received, especially 
about their eyes, from the splintering of the rock. The 
Cnidians, therefore, sent to Delphi, to inquire what it was that 
hindered their eflforts ; and received, according to their own 
account, the following answer from the oracle : — 

" Fence not the isthmus ofif, nor dig it through — 
Jove would have made an island, had ho wished." 

' Herodotus is singular in giving 
the name of Triopium to the whole of 
that long and narrow poninsula which 
lies between the gulfs of Cos and 
Sym^, projecting westward from the 
tract called by Herodotus " the By- 
bassian Chersonese/' which is also a 
peninsulai joined to the mainland by 
an isthmus not more than 10 miles 
across from the Gulf of Cos to that of 
Harmoricd. The isthmus which imites 
the Triopian peninsula to the continent 
was found by Captain Graves to be as 

narrow as stated by Herodotus, and 
traces are even said to have been dis* 
covered of the attempted canal. (Ham- 
ilton's Asia Minor, vol. ii. p. 78.) Most 
writers make the Triopium a mere 
capo or promontory {iucpwr^pioy) in 
this tract. (Scylax. p. 91; Schol. 
Theocr. xvii. 69; Thuc. viii. 85.) The 
rendering of the passage (ijfyfi4yris 
iK rrjs Xtpffotrfiaov rris Bvficunrlris) pro- 
posed by Larchcr and adopted by 
Biihr, is quite inadmissible. 



So the Cnidians ceased digging, and when Harpagus advanced 
with his army, they gave themselves up to him without strik- 
ing a blow. 

175. Above Halicamassus, and further from the coast, were 
the Pedasians.® With this people, when any evil is about to 
befall either themselves or their neighbours, the priestess of 
Minerva grows an ample beard. Three times has this marvel 
happened. They alone, of all the dwellers in Caria, resisted 
Harpagus for a while, and gave him much trouble, maintaining 
themselves in a certain mountain called Lida, which they had 
fortified ; but in course of time they also were forced to submit. 

176. When Harpagus, after these successes, led his forces 
into the Xanthian plain,^ the Lycians of Xanthus ^ went out 

* Pedasns was reckoned in Caria 
(infra, v. 121). Its exact site is 
uncertain. Sir C. Fellows suggests 
Moolahf near the source of the Cheena 
orMarsyas (Discoveries, p. 260, note). 
But this seems too far from Halicar- 
nassus. Kiepert is probably right in 
placing Pedasus within the Ceramic 
peninsula. (Map xx.) Lida is the 
coast range along the northern shore 
of the Ceramic gulf. Aristotle in his 
History of Animals (iii. 11) notices 
the fact (1) that the Carian priestesses 
grew a beard occasionally (infra, viii. 

• The Xanthian plain is to the south 
of the city, being in fact the alluvial 
deposit of the river Xanthus. It is 
about seven miles across from Uzlan 
to Patara, and from four to five miles 
deep from the coast to the foot of the 
mountains. The city stands near its 
upper extremity, on the left bank of 
the river. 

' The real name of the city which 
the Greeks called Xanthus seems to 
have been Ama or Anna. This is 
asserted by Stephen (ad voc. "A^ko), 
and confirmed by the monuments of 
the country. Arina (AFINA) appears 
upon some of the Lycian coins, which 
show no word resembling Xanthus till 
the purely Greek or Post-Alexandrine 
period, and the same name occurs 

more than once on the great inscribed 
obelisk from Xanthus, now in the 
British Museum (north side 1. 13. 20). 
Xanthus is properly the name of the 
river. It is a Greek translation of the 
original appellation given to the stream 
probably by the Solymi, which was 
Sirb^ or Sirbes (Strab. xiv. p. 951; 
Panyasis ap. Steph. Byz. ad voc. 
TpffilXri ; Eustath. ad Hom. II. xii. p. 
907-30), a Semitic word signifying 
"yellow" (Bochart, Geog. Sacr. Part 
II. i. 6). Naming a river from its 
colour is very common in the East. 
Hence the number of Kara-Sus, or 
" Black waters ; '* the Kizil-Irmak, 
" Red River J " Kiuk-Su, " Blue River," 

Sir C. Fellows conjectures that the 
name Arina was not given to the city 
till a little before the time of Alexan- 
der, and that previously it was called 
Koprlle (Coins of Lycia, p. 12), a word 
which appears far oftener than any 
other on the Lycian coins. But he 
seems to forget that Arina is on the 
obelisk, which is of the time of Arta- 
xcrxes Longimanus. Perhaps KoprUe 
(KOrPAAE) was the name of the district 
whose chief city was Arina. (See 
Coin 7, Plate xii. in his series, which 
bears on one side the inscription API, 
and on the reverse KOrPAA.) 



to meet him in the field: though hut a small band against 
a numerous host, they engaged in battle, and performed many 
glorious exploits. Overpowered at last, and forced within 
their walls, they collected into the citadel their wives and 
children, all their treasures, and their slaves ; and having so 
done, fired the building, and burnt it to the ground. After 
this, they bound themselves together by dreadful oaths, and 
sallying forth against the enemy, died sword in hand, not one 
escaping. Those Lycians who now claim to be Xanthians, 
are foreign immigrants, except eighty families, who happened 
to be absent from the country, and so survived the others. 
Thus was Xanthus taken ^ by Harpagus,® and Caunus fell in 

' Xanthus defended itself on two 
snbseqaont occasions with cqaal gal- 
lantry : first, against Alexander ; and 
secondly, against the Romans (Vide 
Appian. de Bello Civil., iv. 80, p. 633). 

• There is reason to believe that the 
government of Lycia remained in the 
family of Harpag^. The Xanthian 
obelisk in the British Mnseam, which 
seems to have been erected soon after 
the battle of the Eurymedon (b.c. 
466), contains a record of Caias (or 
Gailcas), the son of Uarpagus (Greek 
Inscr. lines 5 and 12 ; Lycian Inscr. 
8. W. side, line 25), who appears to 
have been the mlcr of the conntry in 
the time of Artaxerxes Longimanns. 
The deeds of the same prince are re- 
presented apon the trophy-monument 
in the Museum, where he appears as 
an Oriental chief, aided by Greek 
mercenaries. It has been thought 
that the curious symbol, known as the 


tfiquetra, occurring upon the Lycian 
coins, is emblematic of the name of 

the conqueror in whose family the 
government was settled (Stewart, in 
Fellows's Lycian Coins, p. 14). The 
essential element of the emblem is a 
crook or gi*appling hook, the Latin har- 
pago, the Greek &fnnii or aprdyri. 
Such a play upon words is not uncom- 
mon in a rude age. The crook itself 
appears on the coins of Arpi in Apulia, 
in manifest allusion to the name of the 
town. And our more ancient armorial 
bearings have constantly the same 

The obelisk prince, " Caias, son of 
Harpagus," must not be regarded as 
the actual son, but as a descendant of 
the conqueror. Eighty-seven years 
intervene between the conquest and 
the battle of the Eurymedon, to which 
the obelisk is posterior. This would 
allow two generations between the 
founder of the family and the builder 
of the obelisk, which may be filled 
up thus : — 

Harpagus (the oon- 


Caias (7) his son . . 
Harpa£ru8, bis son 
Caias, his son . . . 

B.C. B.C. 
$5.3 to 543 . 
54.3 to 510 . 
610 to 477 • 
477 to 444 . 

. 10 years. 
. 33 years. 
. 33 years. 
. 33 years. 

There is one objection to this view. 
The commander of the Lycian ships 
in the navy of Xerxes is not Harpagus, 
the son of Caias, but Cyberniscus, 
the son of Sicas (infra, vii. 98). 
Cybemiscus should certainly represent 
the chief ruler of Lycia, as Syennesis 

Chap. 17^178. 



like manner into his hands; for the Caunians in the main 
followed the example of the Lycians. 

• 177. While the lower parts of Asia were in this way brought 
under by Harpagus, Cyrus in person subjected the upper 
regions, conquering every nation, and not suflFering one to 
escape. Of these conquests I shall pass by the greater 
portion, and give an accounT; of those only which gave him the 
most trouble, and are the worthiest of mention. When he 
had brought all the rest of the continent under his sway, he 
made war on the Assyrians.* 

178. Assyria possesses a vast number of great cities,*^ 

does of Ciliciai and Gorg^ of great 
part of Cyprus. Possibly the words 
" son of Harpagns " on the monument 
mean only "descendant of Harpagns/' 
and the true succession may have been 
— Harpag^, Sicas, Cybemiscns, Caias. 
Or there may have been an interrup- 
tion in the Ime, consequent upon the 
Cannian rebellion, which may have 
brought Harpagus II. into disgrace 
(y. 103), since Caunuswas included in 
Lycia (supra, ch. 172, note*), and if 
the triquetra may be taken for a sign, 
waa under the government of the 

* Herodotus includes Babylonia in 
ABB3rria (vide supra, ch. 106). He 
seems to have conceived the Median 
conquest of Nineveh quite differently 
from either Ctesias or Berosus. He 
regards Cyaxares as conquering a 
portion only of Assyria, and supposes 
a transfer of the seat of government, 
without (apparently) any change of 
dynasty, to Babylon. This is evident 
from the next chapter. There can be 
no doubt that he was mistaken, and 
that the native historian gave a truer 
account. See the Essays appended 
to this Book, Essays iii. and iv. 

' The large number of important 
cities in Assyria, especially if we 
include in it Babylonia, is one of the 
most remdrkable features of Assyrian 

[Grouped around Nineveh were 
CaJah (i^Timr^d), Dur Sargina (Khor- 

sahdd), Tsirbisa (Sherifkhdn) ^ Arbel 
{Arhil), Khazeh (Shamdmek)t and 
Asshur (Shirgdt). Lower down, the 
banks of the Tigris exhibit an almost 
unbroken line of ruins from Tekrit to 
Baghdad, while Babylonia and Chal- 
dsea are throughout studded with 
mounds from north to south, the re- 
mains of those great capitals of which 
we read in the inscriptions. The 
piincipal sites are Sittace (a doubtful 
position), Opis (Khafdji)^ Chilmad 
{Kalwddha)y Duraba (AkkerMf)^ Cutha 
(Ibrahim), Sippara (the modem Sura 
near Babylon), Babylon and Borsippa 
(the modern Bahel and Birs)^ Calneh 
(Niffer), Erech — Huruk of the inscrip. 
tions — (Warka), Larancha (Senkereh), 
Ur of the Chaldees (Mu^heir), and 
many other cities of which the ancient 
names have not been yet identified.— 
H. C. B.] Again, in Upper Mesopo- 
tamia, between the Tigris and the 
Khabour, an affluent of the Euphrates, 
Mr. Layard found the whole country 
covered with ai'tificial mounds, the 
remnants of cities belonging to the 
early Assyrian period (Nineveh and 
Babylon, pp. 241, 243, 246, Ac). 
*' As the evening crept on," he says, 
^' I watched from the highest mound 
the sun as it gradually sunk in un- 
clouded splendour below the 
expanse before me. On all sides, as 
far as the eye could reach, rose the 
grass-covered heaps, marking the site 
of ancient habitations. The grea,t 



Book I. 

whereof the most renowned and strongest at this time was 
Babylon, whither, after the fall of Nineveh, the seat of govern- 
ment had been removed. The following is a description of 
the place : — The city stands on a broad plain, and is an exact 
square, a hundred and twenty furlongs in length each way, so 
that the entire circuit is four hundred and eighty furlongs.® 
While such is its size, in magnificence there is no other city 
that approaches to it. It is surrounded, in the first place, by 
a broad and deep moat, full of water, behind which rises a 
wall fifty royal cubits in width, and two himdred in height.^ 

tide of civilization had long since 
ebbed, leaving these scattered wrecks 
on the solitary shore. Are those 
waters to flow again, bearing back the 
seeds of knowledge and of wealth 
that they have wafted to the West ? 
We wanderers were seeking what they 
had left behind, as chilcl^n gather 
np the coloured shells on the deserted 
sands. At my feet there was a busy 
scene, making more lonely the un- 
broken sol it ado which reigned in the 
vast plain around, where the only 
things having life or motion were the 
shadows of the lofty mounds, as they 
lengthened before the declining sun. 
Above three years before, when 
watching the approach of night from 
the old castle of Tel Afer, I had 
counted nearly one hundred ruins; 
now, when in the midst of them, no 
less than double that number were 
seen from Tel Jemal." 

' According to Ctesias (ap. Died. 
Sic. ii. 7) the circuit was but 360 
furlongs (stadia). The historians of 
Alexander agreed nearly with this 
(Died. Sic. 1. s. c. ; Quint. Curt. V. i. 
§ 26). Clitarchus reported 365 stadia ; 
Q. Curtius, 368; while Strabo, who 
bad access to Axistobulus, gave 386. 
The vast space enclosed within the 
walls of Babylon is noticed by Ari- 
stotle. (Polit. iii. 1, sub fin.) 

[No traces are to be recognized at 
the present day of the ancient en. 
ceinte of Babylon, nor has any vierifi- 
oation as yet been discovered, in the 
native and contemporary records, of 

the (apparently) exaggerated mea- 
surements of the Greeks. The measure 
of Nebuchadnezzar's new or inner city 
is given in the India House Tablet as 
4000 ammas (or cubits ; comp. the 
Jewish '"T?^) each side, which would 
yield a circumference of about 44 
stades, or no more than 5 English 
miles. But the extent of the old 
Babylon is nowhere recorded. — 
H. C. R.] 

7 This, by far the most surprising 
fact connected with these walls, is to 
some extent confirmed by Ctesias, who 
gives the measure of the height as 50 
fathoms (Died. Sic. ii. 7), equal to 
200 ordinary cubits. Other writers 
considerably reduce the amount ; Pliny 
(vi. 26) and Solinus (c. 60) to 200 
feet, Strabo and others to 75 feet. 
The great width and height of the 
walls are noticed in Scripture (Jerem. 
Ii. 53, 58). There can be no doubt 
that the Babylonians and Assyrians 
surrounded their cities with walls of 
a height which, to us, is astounding. 
The sober and practical Xenophon 
(Anab. 11. iv. § 12, and ill. iv. § 10) 
reports the height of the so-called 
Median wall at 100 feet, and that of 
the walls of 'the ruined Nineveh at 
150 feet. 

[It must be remembered, however, 
that Strabo and the historians of 
Alexander substitute 50 for the 200 
cubits of Herodotus, and it may 
therefore be suspected that the latter 
author referred to hands, four of 
which were equal to the cubit. The 

Chap 178, 179. 



(The royal cubit® is longer by three fingers' breadth than the 
common cubit.) • 

179. And here I may not omit to tell the use to which the 
mould dug out of the great moat was turned, nor the manner 
wherein the wall was wrought. As fast as they dug the moat 
the soil which they got from the cutting was made into bricks, 
and when a sufficient number were completed they baked the 
bricks in kilns. Then they set to building, and began with 
bricking the borders of the moat, after which they proceeded 

measnre indeed of 50 fathoms or 200 
royal cnbits for the walls of a city in 
a plain is quite preposterons, and if 
intended by the authors must be put 
down as a gross exaggeration. When 
Xenophon estimates the height of the 
walls of Nineveh opposite Mespila at 
150 feet, he gives the aggregate of the 
river bank, the colossal mound 
(modem Koyunjik) on the top of tho 
bank, and the wall on the top of the 
mound. My oi^'n belief is that the 
height of the walls of Babylon did 
not exceed 60 or 70 English feet. — 

* The Greek metrical system was 
closely connected with tho Baby- 
lonian. It is of course more in the 
divisions and general arrangement of 
the scale, than in actual measurement, 
that the Babylonian character of the 
Greek system is exhibited. Thus, the 
foot being taken as the unit for all 
longer measures, the opyvih. is found to 
contain 6 feet, the KdXofios 10, the 
ififut 60, the 'K\4epov 100, and the 
trrdBtoy 600; — the alternation in the 
series of 6 and 10 occurring precisely 
as in the well-known Babylonian 
notation — now abundantly verified 
from the inscriptions — of the 5os, the 
NeVf and the Sar. With regard to 
the positive relationship of the Greek 
and Babylonian measures of length, it 
is difficult as yet to form a decided 
opinion. Bdckh (Clas. Mus. vol. i. 
p. 4) maintains that the Babylonian 
cubic foot stood to the Greek in the 
ratio of 3 to 2, and M. Oppert, from a 
tolerably extensive field of comparison 

(see Athenroum Francis, 1854, p. 
370), has also valued the length of 
the Babylonian foot at 315 millimetres, 
which is, as nearly as possible, 12J 
English inches, but my own researches 
rather lead me to believe the ordinary 
Babylonian foot to have been less 
than the Greek — less even than the 
English foot. It may perhaps have 
been identical with the Egyptian or 
Samian, the exact value of which, 
obtained from the Nilometer, as 
11-82852384 English inches, but I 
would prefer comparing the Boman 
foot, which is only 11*6496 English 
inches, or even a foot of still less 
value, if any authority could be found 
for it.— [H. C. R.] 

• According to M. Oppert, the Baby- 
lonian cubit was to the foot, not as 
3 : 2, but as 5 : 3. The foot contained 
3 hands of 5 fingers each, or 15 fingers 
(AthensBum Francjais, 1850, p. 370); 
the cubit 5 such hands, or 25 fingers. 
If then we accept the statement of 
Herodotus, the Royal Babylonian cubit 
must have contained 28 fingers, or 4 
more than the Greek. The exact value 
of the cubit will, of course, depend on 
the estimate which we form of the real 
length of the foot (see the last note). 
Assuming at present that the Baby. 
Ionian foot nearly equalled the English, 
the common cubit would have been 
1 foot 8 inches, and the Royal cubit 
1 foot 10-4 inches. The Herodotean 
height of the walls, according to this 
estimate, would be 373 ft. 4 in., or 
13 ft. 4 in. higher than the extreme 
height of St. Paul's. 



Book L 

to construct the wall itself, nsins throughout for their cement 
hot bitumen, and interposing a layer of wattled reeds at every 
thirtieth course of the bricks.* On the top, along the edges of 
the wall, they constructed buildings of a single chamber 
facing one another, leaving between them room for a four- 
horse chariot to turn. In the circuit of the wall are a hundred 
gates, all of bra^s, with brazen lintels and side-posts. The 
bitumen used in the work was brought to Babylon from the 
Is, a small stream which flows into the Euphrates at the point 
where the city of the same name stands,* eight days' journey 

' Lftjen of re^dfl are fonnd in pome 
of the renukina of brick baildings at 
praaent exiiting at Babytonia, but 
urraallj at mach smaller interralfl than 
here iiidicat€Kl. At Akkerknf *' thfv 
bed eTerr ii/fh or fir^h lavcr of brick, 
to a thickiaeM ft two inches." (^^ee 
Porter'B TravelB, vol. ii. p. 278.) In 
the Mnjelib^, fjr ancient temple of 
Beliu at Babrlon, "the etraw line 
mns its nn broken ]en:?th between the 
rangeti of every tingle brick coorae'* 
(Aid. p. 311). 

[I have never myself observed layers 
of reed.H in any baildinsr of andoabted 
Babylonian origin. All the ruins, at 
•nj rate abont BabyUm, in which 
reeds are met with at short diittances 
between tlie layers of cmde brick, are 
of the P&rthian ajre, 8ach as Al Uymar, 
▲kkerkaf, the npper walU of Kich's 
Ifnjellibeh, Mokliattat, Zibliyeh, Shis- 
hobar, and the walls of Selencia and 
Ctesiphon. Impressions of reeds are 
at the same time very common on the 
bamt bricks of Nebachadnezzar's 
buildings from the bricks having been 
laid on matting when in a soft state. — 
H. C. R.] 

* This place seems to be mentioned 
in the tribate paid toThothmes IIL at 
Kamak, from Nineveh, Shinar, Meso- 
potamia, and Babel, &c., under the 
name of " Ist" the chief of which 
biooght 2010 mina) of bitumen, which 
is called gift, answering to st/te, its 
modem name in those parts, as Bich 
says. In Egyptian Aimbio z\fU (like 
the Hebrew z^i, Ezod. ii. 8) means 
pitch, bitumen (sift), and incense also. 

(See Birch's letter in Otia .Sgyptiaca, 
p. bO, ew.) — IG. W.~ 

I* is indubitably the modem Hit, 
where the bitumen is still abundant. 
The f(llowinp qnaint description is 
given by an old traveller : — 

'* Uavinf? spent three days and 
better, from the ruins of Old Babylon 
we came unto a town called Ait, in- 
habited only by Arabians, but very 
minoufi. Near unto which town is 
a valley of pitch very marvellous to 
behold, and a thing almost incredible, 
wherein are many f^pring^ throwing 
out abundantly a kind of black sub- 
stance, like unto tar and pitch, which 
serveth all the countries thereabouts 
to make staunch their barks and boats, 
every one of which springs maketh a 
noise like a smith's furge in puffing 
and blowinir out the matter, which 
never ccoK'th nijrhi nor day, and the 
noise is hL>urd a mile off, swallowing 
up all weighty things that come upon 
it. The Moors call it * the mouth of 
hell.'" (Collection of Voyages and 
Travels from the Library of the Earl 
of Oxford. 2 vols. London, 1745. 
Vol. ii. p. 752.) 

[The name of this place was origin- 
ally Ihif or, with a distinctive epithet 
attached, Ihidakira, meaning " the 
bitumen spring." In the Is of Hero- 
dotus we have Ihi with a Greek no- 
minatival ending. The same place is 
probably indicated in Ezra viii. 15, 21, 
31, where we have the Hebrew ortho- 
gtaphy of ¥\m, or, in the English ver- 
sion, Ahava. Isidore of Charax writes 
the name as 'A*lwo\u in his Plarthian 

Chap. 179-181. 



•from Babylon. Lumps of bitumen are found in great 
abundance in this river. 

180. The city is divided into two portions by the river which 
runs through the midst of it. This river is the Euphrates, a 
broad, deep, swift stream, which rises in Armenia, and empties 
itself into the Erythr»an sea. The city wall is brought down 
on both sides to the edge of the stream: thence, from the 
comers of the wall, there is carried along each bank of the 
river a fence of burnt bricks. The houses are mostly three 
and four storeys high ; the streets all run in straight lines, not 
only those parallel to the river, but also the cross streets 
which lead down to the water-side. At the river end of these 
cross streets are low gates in the fence that skirts the stream, 
which are, like the great gates in the outer wall, of brass, and 
open on the water. 

181. The outer wall is the main defence of the city. There 
is, however, a second inner wall, of less thickness than the 
first, but very little inferior to it in strength.® The centre of 
each division of the town was occupied by a fortress. In the 
one stood the palace of the kings,* surrounded by a wall of 
great strength and size : in the other was the sacred precinct 

stations (p. 5). Ptolemy has *ldiKdpa 
(v. 20), and the Talmnd KTpiK^n* 
(Ihidakira) as the most northerly town 
of Babylonia. Zosimos also writes 
Adteipa (iii. p. 165), and Ammianus, 
Diacira (xxiv. 2). Hit is probably the 
same name with a feminine ending. — 
H. C. B.] 

• The *' inner wall " here mentioned 
may have been the wall of Nebuchad- 
nezzar's new city — the " inner city " of 
Berosos (Fr. 14) — which lay entirely 
within the ancient circuit, and had a 
circumference of 16,000 ammas or 44 
Btades. — See note • on ch. 178. 

*This is the mass or mound still 
called the Kasr or Palace, " a square 
of 700 yards in length and breadth." 
(Rich, First Memoir, p. 22.) It is an 
immense pile of brickwork, chiefly of 
the finest kind. On it stand some 
remarkable ruins to which the name 

Kasr is specially applied. Its single 
tree which Rich thought strange to the 
country, and a remnant of the hanging- 
gardens of Nebuchadnezzar, still grows 
on one of the ridges, but is not found 
to deserve the attention bestowed on 
it, since it is of a kind very common 
in the valley of the Euphrates. 

[There can be no doubt whatever of 
the identity of the ruins of the Kasr 
with the great palace of Babylon 
noticed by Herodotus, and described 
at more length by Josephus from 
Berosus (contr. Ap. i. 19), because 
several slabs belonging to the original 
building have been found there which 
bear inscriptions commemorative of 
the building of the palace by Nebu- 
chadnezzar. For a full explanation 
of the subject, see the Essay appended 
to Book iii. ' On the Topography of 
Babylon.'— H. C. B 



Book I. 

of Jupiter Belus,^ a square enclosure two furlongs each way, 
with gates of solid brass ; which was also remaining in my 
time. In the middle of the precinct there was a tower of solid 
masonry, a furlong in length and breadth, upon which was 
raised a second tower, and on that a third, and so on up to 
eight. The ascent to the top is on the outside, by a path 
which winds round all the towers. When one is about half- 
way up, one finds a resting-place and seats, where persons 
are wont to sit some time on their way to the summit. On 
the topmost tower there is a spacious temple, and inside the 
temple stands a couch of unusual size, richly adorned, with a 
golden table by its side. There is no statue of any kind set 
up in the place, nor is the chamber occupied of nights by any 
one but a single native woman, who, as the Ghaldseans, the 
priests of this god,® affirm, is chosen for himself by the deity 
out of all the women of the land. 

' The Babylonian worship of Bel is 
weU known to na from Scripture 
(Isaiah xlvi. 1 ; Jerom. 1. 2 ; Apoc. 
Dan, xii. 16). There is little doubt 
that he was (at least in the later 
times) the recognised head of the Baby. 
Ionian Pantheon, and therefore pro- 
perly identified by the Greeks with 
their Zeus or Jupiter. (Compare the 
expressions Jupiter Ammorit Jupiter 
Papias, &o.) It has been usual to 
suppose that Bel and Baal are the 
same word, and therefore that the 
word Bel means simply " Lord.", But 
this is very uncertain. Bel is ^?i in 
the original, while Baal is ^??. These 
may he distinct roots. 

[There are some points of consider- 
able difficulty connected with the wor- 
ship of Bel at Babylon. In the inscrip- 
tions of Nebuchadnezzar, for instance, 
the name of Bel, as a distinct divinity, 
hardly ever occurs. The great temple 
of Babylon is consecrated to Merodach, 
and that god is the tutelar divinity of 
the city. In the Assyrian inscriptions, 
however, Bel is associated with Baby- 
lon. Pul and Tiglath-Pileser both 
sacrificed to him in that city as the 
supreme local deity, and Sargon ex- 

pressly calls Babylon "the dwelling, 
place of Bel." At a still earlier period, 
that is, under the old Chaldaoan 
Empire, Niffer was the chief seat of 
the worship of Bel, and the city was 
named after him, an explanation be- 
ing thus afforded of the many tradi- 
tions which point to Niffer, or the city 
of Belus (Calneh of Genesis), as the 
primitive capital of Chaldsea. It may 
be presumed from many notices, both 
in sacred and profane history, that 
the worship of Bel again superseded 
tliat of Merodach at Babylon under the 
Achasmcnian princes. See the Essay 
on the Religion of the Assyrians and 
Babylonians.— H. C. R.] 

• Ctesias appears to have agreed 
with Herodotus in this statement. 
Diodorus, whose Assyiian history 
seems to have been entirely taken from 
Ctesias, compares the Chalda)ans of 
Babylonia T\ith the priests of Egypt 
(ii. 29). And it is unquestionable 
that at the time of Alexander's con- 
quests the Chaldaeans were a priest- 
caste. Yet originally the appellation 
seems to have been ethnic. 

[It is only recently that the dark- 
ness which has so long enveloped the 

Chap. 181, 182. 



182. They also declare — ^but I for my part do not credit it 
— ^that the god comes down in person into this chamber, and 
Bleeps upon the couch. This is like the story told by the 
Egyptians of what takes place in their city of Thebes,'' where 
a woman always passes the night in the temple of the Theban 
Jupiter.® In each case the woman is said to be debarred all 

history of the Chaldsoans has been 
cleared np, bnt we are now able to 
present a tolerably clear account of 
them. The Chaldseans then appear 
to have been a branch of the great 
Hamiteraoe of Akkadf which inhabited 
Babylonia from the earliest times. 
With this race originated the art of 
writing, the bnilding of cities, the 
institntion of a religions system, and 
the onltivation of all science, and of 
astronomy in particular. The language 
of these Akkad presents perhaps 
throngh its vocabnlary affinities with 
the African dialects on the one side, 
and throngh its construction with the 
Turanian, or those of High Asia, on 
the other. It stands indeed somewhat 
in the same relation as the Egyptian 
to the Semitic languages, belonging 
as it would seem to the great parent 
stock from which the trunk -stream of 
the Semitic tongues also sprung, before 
there was a ramification of Semitic 
dialect, and before Semitism oven had 
become subject to its peculiar organis- 
ation and developments. Inthisprimi. 
tive Akkadian tongue, which I have 
been accustomed generally to denomi- 
nate Scythic from its near connexion 
with the Scythic dialect of Persia, were 
preserved all the scientific treatises 
known to the Babylonians, long after 
the Semitic element had become pre- 
dominant in the land — ^it was in fact 
the lang^uage of science in the East, 
as the Latin was in Euroi>e during the 
middle ages. When Semitic tribes 
established an empire in Assyria in 
the 13th century B.C. they adopted 
the alphabet of the Akkad, and with 
certain modifications applied it to their 
own language ; but during the seven 
centuries which followed of Semitic 
dominion at Nineveh and Babylon, 

this Assyrian language was merely 
used for historical records and official 
documents. The mythological, astro- 
nomical, and other scientific tablets 
found at Nineveh are exclusively in 
the Akkadian language, and are thus 
shown to belong to a priest-chtss, 
exactly answering to the Chalflapans 
of profane history and of the bookof 
Daniel. We thus see how it is that 
the Chaldsoans (taken generally for 
the Akkad) are spoken of in the pro. 
phetical books of Scripture as com- 
posing the armies of the Semitic kings 
of Babylon and as the general inhabi- 
tants of the country, while in other 
authorities they are distingm'shed as 
philosophers, astronomers, and magi- 
cians, as, in fact, the special deposi- 
taries of science. It may further be 
inferred that those Chaldaoan Akkad 
descended into Babylonia in very 
remote times from the Kurdish moun. 
tains, for in the inscriptions of Sargon 
the geographical name ofAkkadia some- 
times applied to the mountains instead 
of the vernacular title of Vararat or 
Ararat — an excellent illustration be- 
ing thus afforded of the notices of 
Chaldeans in this quarter by so many 
of the Greek historians and geogra- ' 
phers. This subject is further examined 
in Essay iii. appended to Book vii. 

7 This fable of the god coming per- 
sonally into his temple was contrary 
to the Egyptian belief in the nature 
of the gods. It was only a figurative 
expression, similar to that of the Jews, 
who speak of God visiting and dwell- 
ing in his holy hill, and not intended 
to bo taken literally. (Of the women 
I in the service of Amun, see note on 
Book ii. ch. 35.)— [G. W.] 

* The TJiehan Jupiter, or god wor- 
shipped as the Supremo Being in the 




intercourse with men. It is also like the custom of PatSra, 
in Lycia, where the priestess who delivers the oracles, during 
the time that she is so employed — for at Patara there is not 
always an oracle ® — is shut up in the temple every night. 

183. Below, in the same precinct, there is a second temple, 
in which is a sitting figure of Jupiter, all of gold. Before the 
figure stands a large golden table, and the throne whereon it 
sits, and the base on which the throne is placed, are likewise 
of gold. The Chaldfleans told me that all the gold together 
was eight himdred talents' weight. Outside the temple are 
two altars, one of soUd gold, on which it is only lawful to oflfer 
sucklings ; the other a common altar, but of great size, on 
which the full grown animals are sacrificed. It is also on the 
great altar that the Chaldaeans bum the frankincense, which 
is offered to the amount of a thousand talents' weight, every 
year, at the festival of the god. In the time of Gyms there 
was likewise in this temple a figure of a man, twelve cubits 
high, entirely of solid gold. I myself did not see this figure, 
but I relate what the Chaldseans report concerning it. Darius, 
the son of Hystaspes, plotted to carry the statue off, but had 
not the hardihood to lay his hands upon it. Xerxes, however, 
the son of Darius, killed the priest who forbade him to move 
the statue, and took it away.^ Besides the ornaments which 

city of Thebes, was Ammon (Amun). 
Herodotus says the Thehan rather than 
the Egyptian Jupiter, because various 
gods were worshipped in yarious parts 
of Egypt as supremo : Khem at Chem- 
xniB, Phtha at Memphis, Ba at Heli- 
opolis, &c. 

' Patara lay on the shore, a little to 
the east of the Xanthus (Strabo, ziv. 
p. 951 J Ptol. V. 3). Scylax (Peripl. 
p. 98) seems to place it some distance 
np the stream, but his text is probably 
corrupt in this place. The site is fixed 
with certainty by rnins and inscrip- 
tions (Beaufort's Karamania, p. 5; 
Ionian Antiq. vol. iii. p. 85 ; Fellows's 
Lycia, p. 416 to p. 419), and the name 
still adheres to the place. 

According to Servius (ad jEn. iv. 

143) Apollo delivered oracles here 
during the six winter months, while 
during the six summer months he 
gave responses at Delos. Compare 
Hor. Od. iii. 4, 64. 

* There can be little doubt that this 
was done by Xerxes after the revolt of 
Babylon, of which Ctesia,s speaks (£xo. 
Pers. § 22). Arrian relates that Xer- 
xes not only plundered but destroyed 
the temple on his return from Greece 
(vii. 17; comp. Strab. xvi. p. 1049). It 
is likely that the revolt was connected 
with the disasters of the Grecian ex- 
pedition, and that Xerxes, on taking 
the city, maltreated the priests, plun- 
dered the temple, and diminished its 
strength as a fortress, to which pur- 
pose it may have been turned during 



I have mentioned, there are a large number of private oflfer- 
ingB in this holy precinct.* 

184. Many sovereigns have ruled over this city of Babylon, 
and lent their aid to the building of its walls and the adorn- 
ment of its temples, of whom I shall make mention in my 
Assyrian history. Among them two were women. Of these, 
the earlier, called Semiramis, held the throne five generations 
before the later princess.® She raised certain embankments 
well worthy of inspection, in the plain near Babylon, to 
control the river, which, till then, used to overflow, and flood 
the whole country round about. 

185. The later of the two queens, whose name was Nitocris, 
a wiser princess than her predecessor, not only left behind 
her, as memorials of her occupancy of the throne, the works 
which I shall presently describe, but also, observing the great 
power and restless enterprise of the Medes, who had taken so 
large a number of cities, and among them Nineveh, and 
.expecting to be attacked in her turn, made all possible exertions 
to increase the defences of her empire. And first, whereas the 
river Euphrates, which traverses the city, ran formerly with 

the siege. But the KartaKw^tv of Ar- 
rian is too strong a word. It may be 
remarked that Strabo used the milder 
term Korccnrcurcy. 

' The great temple of Babylon, re- 
garding which the Greeks have left so 
many notices, is beyond all doubt to 
be identified with the enormous mound 
which is named MujelUh^h by Rich, 
but to which the Arabs universally 
apply the title of Bdhil. In the de- 
scription, however, which Herodotus 
gives of this famous building he would 
seem to have blended architectural 
details which applied in reality to two 
different sites; his measurement of a 
Btade square answering pretty well to 
the circumference of Babil, and his 
notices also of the chapels and altars 
of the god being in close agreement 
with the accounts preserved in the 
inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar of the 
high place of Mcrodach at Babylon ; 

VOL. I. 

while, on the other hand, the elevation 
of seven stages one above the other, 
and the construction of a shrine for 
the divinity at the summit of the pile, 
must necessarily refer to the temple 
of the Planets of the Seven Spheres at 
Borsippa, now represented by the ruins 
of Birs-Nimrud. A full account of 
both of these temples is given from 
the Cuneiform Inscriptions at the 
close of Book iii. * On the Topography 
of Babylon,* to which accordingly the 
reader is referred. — [H. C. R.] 

^ Scaliger proposed to read "fifty 
generations" instead of "five." Vi- 
tringa suggested " fifteen." Both 
wished to identify the Semiramis of 
Herodotus with that of Ctesias. But 
they are two entirely distinct person- 
ages. See the Essays appended to 
this volume. Essay viii. * On the His- 
tory of the later Babylonians.' 


a straight course to Babylon, she, by certain excavations 
which she made at some distance up the stream, rendered it 
so winding that it comes three several times in sight of the 
same village, a village in Assyria, which is called Ardericca ; * 
and to this day, they who would go from our sea to Babylon, 
on descending to the river touch three times, and on three 
different days, at this very place. She also made an embank- 
ment along each side of the Euphrates, wonderful both for 
breadth and height, and dug a basin for a lake a great way 
above Babylon, close alongside of the stream, which was sunk 
everywhere to the point where they came to water, and was of 
such breadth that the whole circuit measured four hundred 
and twenty furlongs. The soil dug out of this basin was 
made use of in the enbankments along the waterside. When 
the excavation was finished, she had stones brought, and 
bordered with them the entire margin of the reservoir. These 
two things were done, the river made to wind, and the lake 
excavated, that the stream might be slacker by reason of the 
number of curves, and the voyage be rendered circuitous, and 
that at the end of the voyage it might be necessary to skirt 
the lake and so make a long round. All these works were on 
that side of Babylon where the passes lay, and the roads into 
Media were the straightest, and the aim of the queen in 
making them was to prevent the Medes from holding inter- 
course with the Babylonians, and so to keep them in ignorance 
of her affairs. 

186. While the soil from the excavation was being thus 
used for the defence of the city, Nitocris engaged also in 
another undertaking, a mere by-work compared with those we 
have already mentioned. The city, as I said, was divided by 
the river into two distinct portions. Under the former kings, 
if a man wanted to pass from one of these divisions to the 

* Ardericca is probably the modem 
AkkerJcuff which was on the line of tho 
original Nahr Malchaf or Boyal River, 
a canal made for purposes of irrigation. 

No snch cuttings as those here de- 
scribed by Herodotns can ever have 
existed.— [H. C. R.] 

Chap. 183-187. NITOCRIS — HER GREAT WORKS. 307 

other, he had to cross in a boat ; which must, it seems to me, 
have been very troublesome. Accordingly, while she was 
digging the lake, Nitocris bethought herself of turning it to 
a use which should at once remove this inconvenience, and 
enable her to leave another monument of her reign over 
Babylon. She gave orders for the hewing of immense blocks 
of stone, and when they were ready and the basin was 
excavated, she turned the entire stream of the Euphrates into 
the cutting, and thus for a time, while the basin was Ming, 
the natural channel of the river was left dry. Forthwith she 
set to work, and in the first place lined the banks of the 
stream within the city with quays of burnt bricks, and also 
bricked the land-places opposite the river-gates, adopting 
throughout the same fashion of brickwork which had been 
used in the town wall ; after which, with the materials which 
had been prepared, she built, as near the middle of the town 
as possible, a stone bridge, the blocks whereof were bound 
together with iron and lead. In the daytime square wooden 
platforms were laid along from pier to pier, on which the 
inhabitants crossed the stream ; but at night they were with- 
drawn, to prevent people passing from side to side in the dark 
to commit robberies. When the river had filled the cutting, 
and the bridge was finished, the Euphrates was turned back 
again into its ancient bed ; and thus the basin, transformed 
suddenly into a lake, was seen to answer the purpose for 
which it was made, and the inhabitants, by help of the basin, 
obtained the advantage of a bridge. 

187. It was this same princess by whom a remarkable 
deception was planned. She had her tomb constructed in 
the upper part of one of the principal gateways of the city, 
high above the heads of the passers by, with this inscription 
cut upon it : — ** If there be one among my successors on the 
throne of Babylon who is in want of treasure, let him open 
my tomb, and take as much as he chooses, — not, however, 
unless he be truly in want, for it will not be for his good." 
This tomb continued imtouched imtil Darius came to the 



Book I. 

kingdom. To him it seemed a monstrous thing that he 
should be unable to use one of the gates of the town, and that 
a sum (rf money should be lying idle, and moreover inviting 
his grasp, and he not seize upon it. Now he could not use 
the gate because, as he drove through, the dead body would 
have been over his head. Accordingly he opened the tomb ; 
but instead of money, found only the dead body, and a writing 
which said — "Hadst thou not been insatiate of pelf, and 
careless how thou gottest it, thou wouldst not have broken 
open the sepulchres of the dead." 

188. The expedition of Cyrus was undertaken against the 
son of this princess, who bore the same name as his father 
Labynetus,* and was king of the Assyrians. The Great King, 
when he goes to the wars, is always supplied with provisions 
carefully prepared at home, and with cattle of his own. 
Water too from the river Choaspes, which flows by Susa,^ is 
taken with him for his drink, as that is the only water which 
the kings of Persia taste.'' Wherever he travels, he is attended 
by a number of four-wheeled cars drawn by mules, in which 
the Choaspes water, ready boiled for use, and stored in flagons 
of silver, is moved with him from place to place. 

189. CjTUs on his way to Babylon came to the banks of the 

' Herodotas probably regards this 
LabjnetQB as the son of the king men- 
tioned in chap. 74. 

• For a description of the situation 
and present state of Susa, see note on 
Book iii. ch. 68. There is no donbt 
that the Choaspes is the modem Ker. 
khcJi. (See Joamal of the Geograph. 
Soc., vol. ix. part i. pp. 88, 89.) 

^ This statement of Horodotns is 
echoed by various writers (Plutarch, 
de Exil. vol. ii. p. 601, D ; AthcnsBus, 
Deipnosoph. ii. 23, p. 171; Solinus, Po- 
lyhist. xli. p. 83; Eustath. ad Dionys. 
Perieg. 1073, Ac). Some add to it, 
that no one but the king (Sol in. 1. s. c), 
or no one but the king and his eldest 
son (Agathocles, Fr. 5), might drink 
the ChoaHpes water. What most say 
of the Choaspes, Strabo reports of the 

Eulapus (xv. p. low), and Pliny (H. N. 
xxxi. 3) mentions both names. But 
these two writers are probably mis- 
taken in regarding the EuIsbus and 
Choaspes as different rivers. The 
term Eulseus (Ulai of Daniel) seems 
to have been applied to the eastern 
branch of the Kerkhah^ which, leaving 
the main stream at Pai-Pul, joined the 
Shapur, and flowed into the Karun at 
Ahwaz. (See Loftus, Chaldaea and 
Susiana, pp. 421-i30.) The water of 
both the Karun and the Kerkhah is 
said at the present day to be excellent, 
and the natives vaunt the superiority 
of these two rivers over all other 
streams or springs in the world (Jour- 
nal of Geogr. Society, vol. ix. part i. 
p. 89). 

Chap. 187-189. 



Gyndes,® a stream which, rising in the Matienian mountains,' 
runs through the country of the Dardanians,^ and empties 
itself into the river Tigris, The Tigris, after receiving the 
Gyndes, flows on by the city of Opis,* and discharges its 

' The Gyndes is nndoabtedly the 
Diydlah, since, — firstly, — there is no 
other navigable stream after the lower 
Zab on the road between Sfirdis and 
Snsa (vide infra, ▼. 52) ; and secondly, 
no other river of any conseqaence 
could have to be crossed between the 
monntains and the Tigris on the march 
from Agbatana to Babylon. Were it 
not for these circumstances the river 
QangiTf which is actually divided at 
Mendalli into a multitude of petty 
streams, and completely absorbed in 
irrigation, might seem to have a better 
claim (Jour, of Geogr. Soc. ut sup. p. 

* These Matieni are not to be con- 
founded with the Matieni of Asia 
Minor, who may have been of the 
same race (query, Medes? the d of 
Mada passing into f, as in Sauro-mato), 
but were a distinct people. Hero- 
dotus seems to assign to these Matieni 
the whole of the mountain range from 
the sources of the Diydlah near Hama- 
dan to those of the Aras (Araxes) near 
Erzeroum in Upper Armenia (vide 
infr4, ch. 202). 

[The term Matieni may perhaps be 
a mere generic word for " people." 
The Babylonian word, at any rate, 
which is used for a country may be 
read as matu, in the singular, and 
matiya or matein in the plural, being 
in fact identical with the Hebrew and 
Chaldee riD.— H. C. E.] 

* No other writer mentions Darda- 
nians in these parts. It has been pro- 
posed to read 8tek Aapa/wv, — 8t* *Apfi€- 
pl»y, — and 8uk AapvcW. The only va- 
rious reading in the MSS. favours the 
last emendation. It is 9utp9ay4toyf 
which has all the letters of 9iit Aapywy 
with a single dislocation. The ruins 
of Dameh still exist on the banks of 
the Zamacan before it joins the Diya. 
lah, and before the united rivers issue 
from the mpuntains into the plain of 

[It must be confessed, however, that 
Dameh has not been a place of any 
consequence either in the ancient or 
modem geography of the country. It 
was merely selected by the Kurdish 
emirs for their residence about five 
centuries back on account of the 
strength of the position. Aap9dy€0i 
may very well mean " the holders of 
the passes," and thus exactly apply to 
the tribes along the banks of the upper 
Diydlah.—H. C. E.] 

- This is the plain meaning of Hero, 
dotus, who has therefore been accused 
of ignorance by Eennell (Geography 
of Herod. § 9, p. 202). But the situa- 
tion of Opis is uncertain. Strabo, by 
calling it an emporium (xvi. p. 1051), 
might lead us to imagine that its posi- 
tion was low down the river. Xeno- 
phon's narrative (Anab. 11. iv. 13-25), 
it must be granted, makes this im- 
possible. Still, however, Opis may 
have been a little below the junction 
of the Diydlah with the Tigris, or at 
the point of confluence. 

[If we remember that Xenophon's 
Median Wall is the enceinte of Baby- 
lon, and that the Greeks crossed the 
Tigris at Sittac^, which was on the 
road from Babylon to Susa, we can 
hardly fail of identifying the Diydlah 
with the Physcus of Xenophon (Anab. 
II. iv. 25), and thus recognising Opis 
in the ruins of Khafaji, near the con- 
fluence of the two rivers. The name 
of Physcus probably comes from 
Uupuska, the title in the inscriptions 
of the district of Sulimaniehf through 
which the Diyalah flows. In the name 
of Opis we have perhaps a Greek nomi- 
natival ending as in Is. The cunei- 
form orthography is Hupiya, and I 
rather think that Khafaji is a mere 
corruption of the original name. The 
name of Sittac^, or, more properly, 
Psittac^, seems to be written in the 
inscriptions as Patsitaf without the 
Scythic guttural termination. It must 



Book I. 

waters into the Erythraean sea. When Cyrus reached this 
stream, which could only be passed in boats, one of the sacred 
white horses accompanying his march, full of spirit and high 
mettle, walked into the water, and tried to cross by himself'; 
but the current seized him, swept him along with it, and 
drowned him in its depths. Cyrus, enraged at the insolence 
of the river, threatened so to break its strength that in future 
even women should cross it easily without wetting their knees. 
Accordingly he put off for a time his attack on Babylon, and, 
dividing his army into two parts, he marked out by ropes one 
hundred and eighty trenches on each side of the Gyndes, 
leading oflf from it in all directions, and setting his army to 
dig, some on one side of the river, some on the other, he 
accomplished his threat by the aid of so great a number of 
hands, but not without losing thereby the whole summer 

190. Having, however, thus wreaked his vengeance on the 
Gyndes," by dispersing it through three hundred and sixty 

have been situated at least as low down 
the Tigris as the modem fort of the 
Zobeid chief .—H. C. E.] 

s BenncU sensibly remarks (p. 202) 
that the story of Cyms's dividing the 
Qyndes is a very childish one, in the 
manner in which it is told. Ho sup- 
poses that the river was swollen, and 
that the sole object of Cyras was to 
effect the passage. Bat this explana. 
tion is ansatisfactory. It is not con- 
ceivable that Cyras proceeded against 
Babylon onprepared for the passage 
of great rivers. Boats mast have 
aboimded on the streams, and rafts 
sapported by inflated skins, which 
were in constant nse apon them, as 
the Nimrad scalptares show, ooald 
hare been oonstracted rapidly. Even 
if it had been necessary to divide the 
Qyiidet, in order to make it fordable, 
thec« woald have been no need of 
entirely dispersing it, and so wasting 
a whole sammer. And if this was the 
only means by which Cyras coald 
pMS the oomparatively small stream 

of the Diyaloh, how did he get across 
the Tigris ? 

If we accept the fact of the dis- 
persion, tho trao explanation would 
Room to be, that Cyrus had already 
resolved to attempt the capture of 
Babylon by the means which ho sub- 
sequently adopted, and thought it 
necessary to practise his army in the 
art of draining off the waters from a 
stream of moderate size before at- 
tempting the far greater work of 
making the Euphrates fordable. He 
may not have been aware of tho 
artificial reservoir which rendered his 
task at Babylon oomparatively easy, 
or not have anticipated the neglect 
which converted a means of defence 
to the assailed into a convenience to 
the assailing party. 

It is remarkable that Mr. Groto 
accepts the narrative of Herodotus as 
it stands, apparently seeing in it no 
improbability. At loast ho offers no ex- 
planation of the conduct of Cyrus (His- 
tory of Greece, vol. iv. pp. 284, 285). 

Chap. 189-191. 



channels, Cyms, with the first approach of the ensuing 
spring, marched forward against Babylon. The Babylonians, 
encamped without their walls, awaited his coming. A battle 
was fought at a short distance from the city, in which the 
Babylonians were defeated by the Persian king, whereupon 
they withdrew within their defences. Here they shut them- 
selves up, and made Ught of his siege, having laid in a store 
of provisions for many years in preparation against this 
attack; for when they saw Cjrus conquering nation after 
nation, they were con\dnced that he would never stop, and 
that their turn would come at last. 

191. Cyrus was now reduced to great perplexity, as time 
went on and he made no progress against the place. In this 
distress, either some one made the suggestion to him, or he 
bethought himself of a plan, which he proceeded to put in 
execution. He placed a portion of his army at the point where 
the river enters the city, and another body at the back of 
the place where it issues forth, with orders to march into the 
town by the bed of the stream, as soon as the water became 

[I incline to regaid the whole story 
as a fable, embodying some popular 
tradition with regard to the origin of 
the great hydraulic works on the 
DiydAah below the Hamaran hills, 
where the river has been dammed 
across to raise the level of the water, 
and a perfect network of canals have 
been opened out from it on either 
side. The principal of these canals 
to the east, now named Beladroz 
(BapdirpoB in Theophanes, and Baraz 
rod, or " hog river," of the Arabs), is 
apparently of extreme antiquity, the 
stream having worked itself a bed in 
the alluvial soil nearly 50 feet below 
the level of the country. There are 
fully 860 streams of water derived 
from the Diydlah, including all the 
branch cute from the seven gpneat 
canals. If Cyrus did indeed execute 
these works, his object must have 
been to furnish means of irrigation to 
the oonntry, and such a motive was 
scarcely likely to have influenced him 

when he was conducting a hostile ex- 
pedition against Babylon. Moreover, 
if he marched upon Babylon by the 
high road leading from the Persian 
mountains, he would have had no oc- 
casion to cross the Diydlah at all. 
The direct route must have followed 
the left bank of the river to Opis, 
near which was the passage of the 

The name of the river Gyndes is 
probably derived from the cuneiform 
Khudufif a city and district on the 
banks of the river adjoining Hupuska, 
which is mentioned in the annals of 
Sardanapalus. It is at any rate 
worthy of remark that all the names 
by wluch this river has been known in 
modem times, Tamerra, Shimon, 
Nahrwan, and Diydlah^ are those of 
cities on its banks, and the same 
system of nomenclature may very 
well be supposed to have existed m 
antiquity.— H. C. R.] 



Book I. 

shallow enough : he then himself drew off with the unwarlike 
portion of his host, and made for the place where Nitocris dug 
the basin for the river, where he did exactly what she had 
done formerly : he turned the Euphrates by a canal into the 
. basin,* which was then a marsh, on which the river sank to 
such an extent that the natural bed of the stream became 
fordable. Hereupon the Persians who had been left for the 
purpose at Babylon by the river-side, entered the stream, 
which had now simk so as to reach about midway up a man's 
thigh, and thus got into the town. Had the Babylonians been 
apprised of what Cyrus was about, or had they noticed their 
danger, they would never have allowed the Persians to enter 
the city, but would have destroyed them utterly; for they 
would have made fast all the street-gates which gave upon the 
river, and mounting upon the walls along both sides of the 
stream, would so have caught the enemy as it were in a trap. 
But, as it was, the Persians came upon them by surprise and 
so took the city. Owing to the vast size of the place, the 
inhabitants of the central parts (as the residents at Babylon 
declare), long after the outer portions of the town were taken, 
knew nothing of what had chanced, but as they were engaged 
in a festival, continued dancing and revelling until they learnt . 
the capture but too certainly. Such, then, were the cir- 
cumstances of the first taking of Babylon.* n 

192. Among many proofs which I shall bring forward of the 
power and resources of the Babylonians, the following is of 
special account. The whole coimtry imder the dominion of 
the Persians, besides paying a fixed tribute, is parcelled out 

* Mr. Grote says that Cyrus " caused 
another roservoir and another canal of 
oommnnication to be dug, by means of 
which he drew off the water of the 
Euphrates" (vol. iv. p. 286). But 
Herodotus says that he turned the 
river into the same reservoir — is rify 
\lftyriy — which was at the time a marsh 
— i ova ay f\os. And indeed, had he 
done otherwise, he would have expend- 

ed time and labour very unnecessarily. 
' Herodotus intends to contrast this 
first capture with the second capture 
by Darius Hystaspes, of which he 
speaks in the latter portion of the 
third Book. We learn, however, by 
the mode of speech used, that he was 
not aware of any former occasion on 
which the city of Babylon had been 
taken by an enemy. 



into divisions, "which have to supply food to the Great King 
and his army during different portions of the year.* Now out 
of the twelve months which go to a year, the district of Bahylon 
furnishes food during four, the other regions of Asia during 
eight ; by which it appears that Assyria, in respect of resources, 
is one-third of the whole of Asia. Of all the Persian govern- 
ments, or satrapies as they are called by the natives,'' this is 
by far the best. When Tritantaechmes, son of Artabazus,® 
held it of the king, it brought him in an artaba of silver every 
day. The artaba is a Persian measure,^ and holds three 
choenixes more than the medimnus of the Athenians. He also 
had, belonging to his own private stud, besides war-horses, 

• See the Essay appended to Book 
iii. * On the Persian System of Ad- 
ministration and Government.' 

7 The native orthography of the 
word, which the Greeks wrote 
aarpdmiSf is *' khshatrapi." It is 
found twice in the Behiston inscrip- 
tion (Col. iii. 1. 14 and 1. 55). The 
etymology has been much disputed 
(see Gesen. Hebr. Lex. p. 41. Eng. 
ed.) ; but, as " khshatram " is used 
throughout the inscriptions for 
" crown '* or ** empire," we can 
scarcely be mistaken in regarding 
** khshatrapi *' as formed of the two 
roots *' khshatram," and " pa." The 
latter word signifies in Sanskrit *' to 
preserve, uphold," whence it appears 
that a Satrap is " one who upholds the 
crown." (Cf. Col. Rawlinson's Vo- 
cabulary of the Ancient Persian 
Language, pp. 116-7.) 

* We hear of a TritantaBchmes, 
" son of ArtabanuSf brother of Darius 
Hystaspes," in Book vii. ch. 82, from 
which place it might appear that this 
passage should be corrected. But we 
cannot be sure that the same person is 
intended in both instances. Indeed, 
as Herodotus seems to speak of his 
own personal knowledge, it is prob- 
able that the Tritanta>chmes here 
mentioned, was Satrap of Babylon at 
the time of Herodotus's visit (about 
B.C. 450), in which case it is scarcely 

possible that he should have been the 
same person who 30 years before was 
one of the six superior generals of 
the army of Xerxes. 

[The name of TritantSBchmes is of 
considerable interest because it points 
to the Vedio traditions, which the 
Persians brought with them from the 
Indus, and of the currency of which 
in the time of Xerxes we have thus 
distinct evidence. The name means 
" strong as Tritan " — this title, which 
etymologically means ** three-bodied," 
being the Sanscrit and Zend form of 
the famous Feridun of Persian 
romance, who divided the world be- 
tween his three sons, Selm, Tur, and 
Erij.— H. C.R.] 

' This is the same name as the 
ardeh of modem Egypt, and, like the 
medimnus, is a com measure. The 
ardeh is nearly five English bushels, 
and contains 8 med. This, too, is the 
Latin modius^ which last was equal to 
one-sixth of the Greek m^dimniLs. 
But the ardeb differs in quantity from 
the artaba. 
1 msdimnus = 48 choenices, or 6 Latin 

1 modius = 8 choenices. 
1 artaba = 51 chcenices (48 + 3). 
1 artaba = little more than 6\ modii, 
1 modius = nearly 1 peck, English. 
1 artaba = about If bushel.— [G. W.] 



Book I. 

eight hundred stallions and sixteen thousand mares, twenty to 
each stallion. Besides which he kept so great a number of 
Indian hoimds,^ that four large villages of the plain were 
exempted from all other charges on condition of finding them 
in food. 

198. But Uttle rain falls in Assyria,* enough, however, to 

1 Conceming these faxnons dogs see 
B&hr^B Gtesias (Indio. Excerpt. § 5), 
and Arist. Hist. An. viii. 28. 

Models of fayourite dog^ are fre- 
quently foond in excavating the cities 
of Babylonia. Some may be seen in 
the British Moseimii obtained from 
the hunting palace of the son of Esar. 

haddon at Nineveh. They are of 
small size, and are inscribed with the 
name of the dog, which is commonly 
a word indicative of their hunting 
prowess. The subjoined representa- 
tion of an Indian dog is from a terra- 
cotta fragment fonnd by Col. Bawlin- 
son at Babylon. 

Indian Homid. (From a Babylonian tablet.) 

'Bain is very rare in Babylom'a 
during the sommer months, and pro- 
dnctiveness depends entirely on irri- 
gation. During the spring there are 

constant Bhowers, and at other times 
of the year rain falls frequently, but 
irreg^lfily, and never in great quanti- 
ties. The heaviest is in December. 



make the com begin to sprout, after which the plant is 
nonrished and the ears formed by means of irrigation from 
the river.* For the river does not, as in Egypt, overflow the 
corn-lands of its own accord, but is spread over them by the 
hand, or by the help of engines.* The whole of Babylonia is, 
like Egypt, intersected with canals. The largest of them all, 
which runs towards the winter sim, and is impassable except 
in boats,* is carried from the Euphrates into another stream, 
called the Tigris, the river upon which the town of Nineveh 
formerly stood.^ Of all the countries that we know there is 

In ancient times, when irrigation was 
carried to a far greater extent than 
it is at present, the meteorology of 
the country may probably have been 
different.— [H. C. R.] 

' At the present day it is not nsnal 
to trust even the first spronting of the 
com to nature. The lands are laid 
under water for a few days before the 
com is sown ; the wat«r is then with- 
drawn, and the seed scattered upon 
the moistened soil. — [H. C. R.] 

* The engine intended by Herodo- 
tus seems to have been the common 
hand-swipe, to which alone the name of 
icri\c0irfiXw would properly apply. The 
ordinary method of irrigation at the 
present day is by the help of oxen, 
which draw the water from the river 
to the top of the bank by means of 
ropes paraed over a roller working 
between two upright posts. Accounts 
of this process will be found in the 
works of Col. Chesney (Euphrates 
Expedition, vol. i. p. 653), and Mr. 
Layard (Nineveh and its Remains, 
Part I. ch. X.). Occasionally, how- 
ever, the hand-swipe is used. Ck)l. 
Chesney says : — " When the bank is 
too high to throw up the water in this 
manner" (viz. with a basket) "it is 
raised by, another process equally 
simple. A wooden lever, from 13 to 
15 feet long, is made to revolve freely 
on the top of a post 3 or 4 feet high, 
about two-thirds of the length of the 
lever projecting over the river, with a 
leather bucket or closely made basket 
of date-branches suspended from the 

extremity : this is balanced when full 
of water by means of a bucket of 
earth or stones at the other end, and 
this simple machine is so well con- 
trived that very slight manual exer- 
tion will raise the backet sufficiently 
high to empty its contents into a cis- 
tern or other kind of receptacle, from 
whence it is dispersed over the fields 
by means of numerous small chan- 
nels." (Compare Layai-d's Nineveh 
and Babylon, p. 109). 

Representations of hand-swipes 
have been found on the monuments. 


Hand-swipe. (From a slab of SennacberibO 

• This probably refers to the ori- 
ginal Nahr Malcha, the g^reat work of 
Nebuchadnezzar, which left the Eu- 
phrates at the modem Felugia, and 
entered the Tigris in the vicinity of 
the embouchure of the Gyndes (Pi- 
ydlah). This canal has, however, re- 
peatedly changed its course since its 
original construction, and the ancient 
bod cannot be now continuously 
traced.— [H. C. R.] 

Beloe translates ^<r^ci 4s r^r 
Tiypiyj Tap* hy NTkoj fr6\is oTinyTo, ** is 



Book I. 

none which is so fruitful in grain. It makes no pretension 
indeed of growing the fig, the olive, the vine, or any other tree 
of the kind ; hut in grain it is so fruitful as to yield commonly 
two hundred-fold, and when the production is greatest, even 
three hundred-fold. The blade of the wheat-plant and barley- 
plant is often four fingers in breadth. As for the millet and the 
sesame, I shall not say to what height they grow, though within 
my own knowledge ; for I am not ignorant that what I have 
already written concerning the fruitfulness of Babylonia must 
seem incredible to those who have never visited the coimtry.*^ 
The only oil they use is made from the sesame-plant.® Palm- 
trees grow in great numbers over the whole of the flat country,® 

continned to that part of the Tigris 
where Nineveh stands ; " thus placing 
the canal in ABsyria, above the allu- 
yiom, where no canal is possible, and 
giving the impression that Nineveh 
waB standing in the time of Herodotus ! 
' The fertility of Babylonia is cele- 
brated by a number of ancient writers. 
TheophrastnSi the disciple of Aristotle, 
speaks of it in his History of Plants 
(viii. 7). Berosns (Fr. 1) says that the 
land prodoced naturally wheat, barley, 
the pulse called ochrys, sesame, edible 
roots named gongcs, palms, apples, and 
Bhelled fruits of various kinds. Strabo, 
apparently following Herodotus, men- 
tions the barley as returning often 
800 fold (xvi. p. 1054). Pliny says 
that the wheat is cut twice, and is 
afterwards g^ood keep for beasts (Hist. 
Nat. xviii. 17). Modems, while bear- 
ing testimony to the general fact, go 
loss into details. Bich says : — " The 
air is salubrious, and the soil extremely 
fertile, producing great quantities of 
rice, dates, and grain of different 
kinds, though it is not cultivated to 
above half the degree of which it is 
susceptible." (First Memoir, p. 12.) 
Colonel Chesney (Euphrat. Exp. vol. 
ii. pp. 602, 603) remarks,—** Although 
greatly changed by the neglect of 
man, those portions of Mesopotamia 
which are still cultivated, as the 
country about Hillah, show that the 
region has all the fertility ascribed to 

it by Herodotus ; '* and he anticipates 
that " the time may not be distant when 
the date-groves of the Euphrates may 
be interspersed with flourishing towns, 
surrounded with fields of the finest 
wheat, and the most productive plan- 
tations of indigo, cotton, and sugar- 

® Mr. Layard informs us that this is 
still the case with respect to the 
people of the plains (Nineveh, Part ii. 
ch. vi.). The olive is cultivated on 
the flanks of Mount Zagros, but Baby- 
lonia did not extend so far. 

* " As far as the eye can reach from 
the town (Hilhih)," says Ker Porter, 
" both up and down the Euphrates the 
banks appear to be thickly shaded 
with groves of date trees." (Travels, 
vol. ii. p. 335.) There is reason to 
believe that anciently the country was 
very much more thickly wooded than 
it is at present. The palm will grow 
wherever water is brought. In ancient 
times the whole country between the 
rivers, and the greater portion of the 
tract intervening between the Tigpris 
and the mountains, was artificiaUy 
irrigated. At present cultivation ex- 
tends but a short distance from the 
banks of the great streams. 

[The sylvan character and beautiful 
appearance of the country, which 
afterwards so much excited the ad- 
miration of the Arabs, are particularly 
noticed by Ammianus and Zosimus in 

Chap. 193, 194 



mostly of the kind which bears fniit, and this fruit supplies 
them with bread, wine, and honey. They are cultivated like 
the fig-tree in all respects, among others in this. The natives 
tie the ftnit of the male-palms, as they are called by the 
Greeks, to the branches of the date-bearing palm, to let the 
gall-fly enter the dates and ripen them, and to prevent the 
fruit from falling off. The male-palms, like the wild fig-trees, 
have usually the gall-fly in their fruit.^ 

194. But that which surprises me most in the land, after 
the city itself, I will now proceed to mention. The boats which 
come down the river to Babylon are circular, and made of 
skins. The frames, which are of willow, are cut in the 
country of the Armenians above Assyria, and on these, which 
serve for hulls, a covering of skins is stretched outside, and 
thus the boats are made, without either stem or stern, quite 
round like a shield. They are then entirely filled with straw, 
and their cargo is put on board, after which they are suffered 
to float down the stream. Their chief freight is wine, stored 
in casks made of the wood of the palm-tree.* They are 
managed by two men who stand upright in them, each plying 
an oar, one pulling and the other pushing.® The boats are of 

their descriptions of the march of 
Julian's army across Mesopotamia 
from the Euphrates to the Tigris. A 
forest of verdure, says Ammianus, 
extended from this point as far as 
Mes^D^ and the shores of the sea. 
Compare Amm. Marc. xxiv. 3, with 
Zosim. iii. p. 173-9.— H. C. B.] 

* Theophrastus first pointed out 
the inaccuracy of this statement (Hist. 
Plant, ii. 9). Several writers, among 
them Larcher and Bahr, have endea- 
voured to show that Herodotus is pro- 
bably right and Theophrastus wrong. 
Modem travellers, however, side with 
the naturalist against the historian. 
All that is required for fructification, 
they tell us, is, that the pollen from 
the blossoms of the male palm should 
come into contact with the fruit of the 
female palm or date-tree. To secure 
this, the practice of which Herodotua 

speaks is still observed. 

• Col. Chesney and Mr. Layard, 
adopted the conjecture of Valla (<f>oan' 
Krjtov for 0oiyiic7}tous), speak of the quan- 
tity of palm-wine brought to Babylon 
from Armenia. But there are two ob- 
jections to this. Babylonia, the land of 
dates, would not be likely to import 
the spiritous liquor which can be dis- 
tilled from the fruit ; and the moun- 
tain tract of Armenia could not pro- 
duce it. It was no doubt 
that Babylon imported from the 
regions higher up the river, though 
perhaps scarcely from Armenia, which 
is too cold for the vine. 

[Grape wine is now brought to • 
Baghdad from Kerkukf but not from 
Ai-menia, whore the vine does not 
grow.— H. C. B.] 

' Boats of this kind, closely resem- 
bling coracles, are represented in the 



Book I. 

various sizes, some larger, some smaller ; the biggest reach as 
high as five thousand talents' burthen. Each vessel has a 
live ass on board ; those of larger size have more than one. 
When they reach Babylon, the cargo is landed and offered for 
sale ; after which the men break up their boats, sell the straw 
and the frames, and loading their asses with the skins, set off 
on their way back to Armenia. The current is too strong to 
allow a boat to return up-stream, for which reason they make 
their boats of skins rather than wood. On their return to 
Armenia they build fresh boats for the next voyage. 

195. The dress of the Babylonians is a linen tunic reaching 
to the feet, and above it another tunic made in wool, besides 
which they have a short white cloak thrown round them, and 
shoes of a peculiar fashion, not unlike those worn by the 
Boeotians. They have long hair, wear turbans on their heads, 
and anoint their whole body with perfumes.* Every one 

NineTeh scnlptiiTes, and still ply on 
the Euphrates. " The Kufa," we read 
in Ker Porter, *' is of close willow work, 
well coated with the bitominoas snb- 
Btanoe of the conntry — perfectly circu- 
lar, it resembles a large bowl on the 
suifaoe of the stream." (Travels, 
vol. ii. p. 260.) Mr. Layard adds, 
that these boats are " sometimes 
covered with skinSf over which the 
bitnmen is smeared." (Nineveh, Part 
II. oh. V.) Col. Chesney also says 
(vol. ii. p. 640), " In some instances. 

Kofa. (From Col. Chetney.) 

though but rarely in the present day, 
the iMisket-work is covered with leather 
. . . but the common method is to 
cover the bottom with bitumen." (CoL 

Rawlinson, however, doubts the exist- 
ence of "kufas covered with skins,** 
which he has never seen, and of which 
he has never heard, on either river.) 
The kufas are used chiefly on the lower 
Tigris and Euphrates, and are not 
ordinarily broken up, being too valu- 
able. But the rafts which descend 
the streams from their upper portions, 
which are formed of wood and reeds 
supported by inflated skins, have 
exactly the same fate as the boats of 
Herodotus. "When the rafts have 
been unloaded they are broken up, 
and the beams, wood, and twigs are 
sold at a considerable profit. . . . The 
skins are brought back either upon the 
shoulders of the raftmen, or upon 
donkeys, to Mosul or Tokrit, where 
the men employed in the navigation 
usually reside." (Layard's Nineveh, 
Part I. ch. xiii.) 

* The dress of the Babylonians ap- 
pears on the cylinders to be a species 
of flounced robe, reaching from their 
necks to thoir feet. In some repre- 
sentations there is an appearance of a 
division into two garments ; the upper 
one being a sort of short jacket or 

Ch4P. 194^ 195. 



carries a seal,*^ and a walking-stick, carved at the top into the 
form of an apple, a rose, a lily, an eagle, or something 

fcippet, flonnoed like fcbe under robe or 
petticoat. This would seem to be the 
X^Jto^titow or short cloak of Herodotus. 
The long petticoat would be his Kiditw 
voftfrcic^f A/rcof. The upper woollen 
tunio may be hidden hy the tippet 
or x^AT^fO'^* 

The long hair of the Babylonians is 
very conspicuous on the cylinders. It 
either depends in lengthy tresses 
which fall orerthe neck and shoulders, 

or is gathered into what seems a club 
behind. There are several varieties 
of head-dress ; the most usual are a 
low cap or turban, from which two 
curved horns branch out, and a high 
crown or mitre, the appearance of 
which is very remarkable. It is un- 
certain which of these is the fiirpa of 

The wood-cuts annexed will illus- 
trate the above. 

/- ■•■' '^-'v 

1^ in- 'II '11 

■ The Babylonian cylinders above 
refeiTed to, of which there are some 
thousands in the Museums of Europe, 
are undoubtedly the * seals ' of Hero- 
dotus. Many impressions of them 
have been found upon clay-tablets. 
They are round, from half an inch to 
three inches in length (the generality 
being about an inch long), and about 
one-third of an inch in diameter. 
They are of various materials. The 
most usual is a composition in which 
black manganese seems to be the 
principal ingredient ; but besides this 
they have been found of amethyst, 
rock-crystal, cornelian, agtae, blood- 

stone, chalcedony, onyx, jasper, ser- 
pentine, pyrites, Ac. They are hollow, 
being pierced from end to end ; either 
for the purpose of being worn strung 
upon a cord, or perhaps to admit a 
metal axis, by means of which they 
were rolled upon the clay, so as to 
leave their impression on it. (See 
Layard's Nineveh and Babylon, pp. 

[The inscription on the cylinders is 
usually the name of the owner, with 
that of his father, and an epithet, 
signifying the servant of such or such 
a god, the divinity being named who 
was supposed to have presided over the 



Book I. 

Bimilar ; ^ for it is not their habit to use a stick without an 

196. Of their customs, whereof I shall now proceed to give 
an account, the following (which I understand belongs to them 
in common with the Illyrian tribe of the Eneti '') is the wisest 

ir*B birthy and to have him under 
hU protection. In almost every case 
—oven on the cylinders found at 
Nineveh— the langua^fe and character 

areChaldffianScythic, and not Assyrian 
Semitic, though when mere names and 
epithets occur it is difficult to distin- 
guish between them. — H. C. B.] 

Babylonian Seals. (From Layard.) 
1. Extanial Ttow. S. Section. S. Impmslon on day 

• Upon the cylinders the Baby- 
lonians are frequently, but not invari- 
ably, represented with sticks. In the 
Assyrian sculptures the officers of the 
court have always sticks, used appa- 
rently as staves of office. The heads 
of these are often elaborately wrought. 
At Persepolis the officers of the Per- 
sian couili bear similar staves. Orna- 
ments of the nature described by 
Herodotus, which may have been the 
heads of walking-sticks, are often 
found among the ruins of the Baby. 
Ionian cities. 

7 The Eneti or Heneti are the same 
with the Venetians of later times 
(Liv. i. I). According to one account 
they came to Italy with Antenor after 
the fall of Troy, and were Paphlago- 
nians. Niebuhr thinks they could not 
have been Illyrians, or Polybius would 
have noticed the fact (Hist, of Rome, 
vol. i. p. 164, Engl. Tr.), and conjec- 
tures that there were Libumians, 
quoting Virgil as authority. 

*' Antenor potoit 

Illjrricos penetrare sinua atqae intima tntos 
Regna Ltoumorum."— JEh. 1. 243-5. 

Chap. 195,196. 



in my judgment. Once a year in each village the maidens of 
age to marry were collected all together into one place ; while 
the men stood round them in a circle. Then a herald called 
up the damsels one by one, and offered them for sale. He began 
with the most beautiful. When she was sold for no small 
som of money, he offered for sale the one who came next to 
her in beauty. All of them were sold to be wives. The 
richest of the Babylonians who wished to wed bid against each 
other for the loveUest maidens, while the humbler wife-seekers, 
who were indifferent about beauty, took the more homely 
damsels with marriage-portions. For the custom was that 
when the herald had gone through the whole number of the 
beautiful damsels, he should then call up the ugliest — a 
cripple, if there chanced to be one — and offer her to the men, 
asking who would agree to take her with the smallest marriage- 
portion. And the man who offered to take the smallest sum 
had her assigned to him. The marriage-portions were 
furnished by the money paid for the beautiful damsels, and 
thus the fairer maidens portioned out the ugUer. No one was 
allowed to give his daughter in marriage to the man of his 
choice, nor might any one carry away the damsel whom he 
had purchased without finding bail really and truly to make 
her his wife; if, however, it turned out that they did not 
agree, the money might be paid back. All who liked might 
come even from distant villages and bid for the women. This 
was the best of all their customs, but it has now fallen into 
disuse.® They have lately hit upon a very different plan to 
save their maidens from violence, and prevent their being torn 
from them and carried to distant cities, which is to bring up 
their daughters to be courtesans. This is now done by all the 
poorer of the common people, who since the conquest have 

But maj not the LibnmiaiiB have been 
«n Illyrian tribe ? Serviaa in his com- 
ment on the passage says that the 
king of the Venetians at this time 
was (Enetus, an Illyrian, 
-* Writers of the Angnstan age 

VOL. I. 

(Strabo, xvi. p. 1058 ; Kic. Damasc. 
p. 152; OrelU) mention this custom 
as still existing in their day. The 
latter testimony, coming from a 
native of Damasons, is partionlarlj 



Book I. 

been maltreated by their lords, and have had ruin brought 
upon their families. 

197. The following custom seems to me the wisest of their 
institutions next to the one lately praised. They have no 
physicians, but when a man is ill, they lay him in the public 
square, and the passers-by come up to him, and if they have 
ever had his disease themselves, or have known any one who 
has suffered from it, they give him advice, recommending him 
to do whatever they found good in their own case, or in the 
case known to them ; and no one is allowed to pass the sick 
man in silence without asking him what his ailment is. 

198. They bmy their dead in honey,® and have funeral 

• Modem researches show two modes 
of burial to have prevailed in ancient 
Babylonia. Ordinarily the bodies seem 
to have been compressed into ams and 
baked, or burnt. Thousands of funeral 
urns are found on the sites of the an- 
cient cities. Coffins are also found, 
but rarely. These are occasionally of 

wood (Rich's First Memoir, pp. 81-2), 
but in general of the same kind 
of pottery as the urns. Specimens 
brought from Warka may be seen 
in the British Museum : they resem.. 
ble in shape the Egyptian mummy- 
cases. These coffins might have been 
filled with honey, but they are thought 
to belong to a comparatively recent 

[So many races have successively 
inhabited Babylonia, and made use 
in succession of the same cemeteries, 
that there is some difficulty in ascer- 
taining to what particular age and 
nation the various modes of sepulture 

Babylonian Coffin and Lid. (Layard.) 

that have been met with belonged. 
The burial-places, however, of the 
primitive Hamite Chaldseans have 
been carefully examined by Mr. 
Taylor, and well described by him in 
his two papers on Mngheir and Abu- 
Shahrein in the Journal of the Asiatic 

Society (vol. rv. part ii.). In these 
burial-placoe the skeletons are some, 
times found laid out in brick vaults^ 
but more generally reposing on a 
small brick platform, with a pottery 
cover over them, very like a modern 
dish-cover. Some of these covers are 

Ghap. 196-199. 



lamentations like the Egyptians. When a Babylonian has^ 
consorted with his wife, he sits down before a censer of burning 
incense, and the woman sits opposite to him. At dawn of 
day they wash ; for till they are washed they wiU not touch 
any of their common vessels. This practice is observed also 
by the Arabians. 

199. The Babylonians have one most shameful custom. 
Every woman born in the country must once in her life go and 
sit down in the precinct of Venus, and there consort with a 
stranger. Many of the wealthier sort, who are too proud to 
mix with the others, drive in covered carriages to the precinct, 
followed by a goodly train of attendants, and there take their 
station. But the larger number seat themselves within the 
holy enclosure with wreaths of string about their heads, — ^and 
here there is always a great crowd, some coming and others 

now in the British Mnsoum. The 
coffins from Warka, of green glazed 
pottery, and shaped like a slipper- 
bath (represented on previous page), 
belonged probably to the Chaldaeans of 
the PartUan age, the figures in relief 
which are stataiped upon them being 
of an entii^ly different character from 
the figures on the antique cylinder- 
seals. The funeral jars, again, which 

seem to have been used for ordinary 
burial, and which are to be found in 
hundreds of thousands in every Baby- 
lonian ruin, are, I believe, of all ages, 
from the earliest Chaldsean times 
down to the Arab conquest. Ashes 
are sometimes found in these jan, ba 
it is far more usual to meet with a 
skeleton compressed into a small 
space, but with the bones and oraniom 



Book I. 

going ; lines of cord mark out paths in all directions among 
the women, and the strangers pass along them to make their 
choice. A woman who has once taken her seat is not aUowed 
to return home till one of the strangers throws a silver coin 
into her lap, and takes her with him beyond the holy ground. 
When he throws the coin he says these words — ** The goddess 
Mylitta prosper thee." (Venus is called Mylitta by the 
Assyrians.) The silver coin may be of any size ; it cannot be 
refused, for that is forbidden by the law, since once thrown it 
is sacred. The woman goes with the first man who throws 
her money, and rejects no one. When she has gone with 
him, and so satisfied the goddess, she returns home, and from 
that time forth no gift, however great, will prevail with her. 
Such of the women as are tall and beautiful are soon released, 

Qnoaloined ; and in all each oases as 
haye fallen under my personal ob- 
Borvation, I have found the month of 
the jar much too narrow to admit of 
the possibility of the cranium passing 
in or out ; so that either the clay jar 
must have been moulded over the 
oorpso, and then baked, which would 
aooount for the ashes inside, or the 
neok of the jar must at any rate have 

been added subsequently to the other 
rites of interment. In some cases 
two jars are joined together by bitu- 
men, so as to admit of the corpse being 
laid at full length instead of being 
compressed into a small compass, with 
the knees resting on the shoulders. 
The wooden coffins observed by Bich 
must have been of the Mohammedan 
period.— H. C. B.] 

Chap. 199-2Q2. 



but others who are ugly have to stay a long time before they 
can fulfil the law. Some have waited three or four years in 
the precinct.^ A custom very much like this is found also in 
certain parts of the island of Cyprus. 

200. Such are the customs of the Babylonians generally. 
There are likewise three tribes among them who eat nothing 
but fish.* These are caught and dried in the sun, after which 
they are brayed in a mortar, and strained through a linen 
sieve. Some prefer to make cakes of this material, while 
others bake it into a kind of bread. 

201. When Cyrus had achieved the conquest of the Baby- 
lonians, he conceived the desire of bringing the MassagetaB 
under his dominion. Now the MassagetsB are said to be a 
great and warlike nation, dwelling eastward, toward the 
rising of the sun, beyond the river Araxes, and opposite 
the Issedonians.^ By many they are regarded as a Scythian 

202. As for the Araxes, it is, according to some accounts, 
larger, according to others smaller, than the Ister (Danube). 
It has islands in it, many of which are said to be equal in size 
to Lesbos. The men who inhabit them feed during the 

1 This unhallowed custom is men- 
tioned among the abominations of the 
religion of the Babylonians in the book 
of Barach (vi. 43) : — " The women 
also with cords about them, sitting in 
the wajB, bom bran for perfume ; bnt 
if any of them, drawn by some that 
passe th by, lie with him, she reproaches 
her fellow, that she was not thought 
as worthy as herself, nor her cord 
broken." Strabo also speaks of it (xvi. 
p. 1058). 

* The inhabitants of the marshes in 
lower Babylonia, against whom the 
Assyrian kings so often make war 
(Layard's Monuments of Nineveh, 2nd 
series, plates 25, 27, 28), are probably 
intended : but it is difficult to suppose 
that fish formed really at any time 
their sole food. The marshes must 
always have abounded with water- 
fowl, and they now support, besides, 

vast herds of buffaloes, which form the 
chief wealth of the inhabitants (see 
Mr. Layard's Nineveh and Babylon, 
ch. xxiv. pp. 553, 554). 

' The Issedonians are mentioned re- 
peatedly in Book iv. Their seats are 
not very distinctly marked. They lie 
east of the Argippseans (iv. 25) and 
south of the Arimaspi (ib. 27). Bennell 
supposes them to have occupied the 
tract which is now inhabited by the 
Eleuthes or Calmuck Tatars. 

* Herodotus himself admits that the 
dress and mode of life of both nations 
were the same. Dr. Donaldson brings 
an etymological argument in support 
of the identity (Varronianus, p. 29). 
According to him the word Scyth is 
another form of Goth, and the Masift- 
getsB, ThyssagetsD, &c. are branches 
of the Gothic nation, Massa- Goths, 
Thy ssa- Goths, &o. 



Book I. 

Bummer on roots of all kinds, which they dig out of the ground, 
while they store up the fruits, which they gather from the 
trees at the fitting season, to serve them as food in the winter- 
time. Besides the trees whose fruit they gather for this 
purpose, they have also a tree which bears the strangest 
produce. "V^en they are met together in companies they 
throw some of it upon the fire round which they are sitting, 
and presently, by the mere smell of the fumes which it gives 
out in burning, they grow drunk, as the Greeks do with wine. 
More of the fruit is then thrown on the fire, and, their 
drunkenness increasing, they often jump up and begin to 
dance and sing. Such is the account which I have heard of 
this people. 

The river Araxes, like the Gyndes, wliich Cyrus dispersed 
into three hundred and sixty channels, has its source in the 
country of the Matienians. It has forty mouths, whereof all, 
except one, end in bogs and swamps. These bogs and swamps 
are said to be inhabited by a race of men who feed on raw 
fish, and clothe themselves with the skins of seals. The 
other mouth of the river flows with a clear course into the 
Caspian Sea.* 

' The geog^phical knowledge of 
Herodotus Bcema to be nowhere bo 
muoh at fault as in his account of this 
river. He appears to have confased 
together the information which had 
reached him concerning two or three 
distinct streams. The Araxes, which 
rises in the Matienian mountains^ 
whence the Chyndes flowSf can only Ibie 
the modem Aras, which has its source 
in the Armenian mountain.range near 
Eneroum, and running eastward joins 
the Kur near its mouth, and falls into 
the Caspian on the west. On the other 
hand, the Araxes, which separates the 
oonntrj of the MassagetsB (who dwelt 
to the east of the Caspian, ch. 204) 
from the empire of Cyrus, would seem 
to be either the Jaxartes (the modem 
8yhun) or the Oxus (Jyhun). The 
number of mouths and great siso 

of the islands correspond best with 
the former stream, while the division 
into separate channels, and the passage 
of one branch into the Caspian, agrees 
strictly with the former state of the 
Jyhun river. (Infra, Essay ix. § 8.) 

To increase the perplexity, we are 
told (iv. 11) that when the Hassagetss 
dispossessed the Scythians of this tract 
east of the Caspian, the latter people 
** crossed the Araxes f and entered the 
land of Cimmeria,'' where the Wolga 
seems to be intended. (See Wessel- 
ing ad loc.) Probably the name Aras 
(Bha) was given by the natives to all, 
or most, of these streams, and Hero- 
dotus was not sufficiently acquainted 
with the general geography to per- 
ceive that different rivers must bo 



203. The Caspian is a sea by itself, having no connection 
with any other.*^ The sea frequented by the Greeks, that 
beyond the Pillars of Hercules, which is called the Atlantic, 
and also the ErythrsBan, are all one and the same sea. But 
the Caspian is a distinct sea, lying by itself, in length fifteen 
days' voyage with a row-boat, in breadth, at the broadest part, 
eight days' voyage.'' Along its western shore runs the chain 
of the Caucasus, the most extensive and loftiest of all 
mountain-ranges.® Many and various are the tribes by which 
it is inhabited, most of whom live entirely on the wild fruits 
of the forest. In these forests certain trees are said to grow, 
from the leaves of which, pounded and mixed with water, the 
inhabitants make a dye, wherewith they paint upon their 
clothes the figures of animals ; and the figures so impressed 
never wash out, but last as though they had been inwoven in 
the cloth from the first, and wear as long as the garment. 

' Here the geographical knowledge 
of Herodotus was taach in advance of 
his age. Eratosthenes, Strabo, Pom- 
ponius Mela, and Pliny all believed 
that the Caspian Sea was connected 
with the Northern Ocean by a long and 
narrow gnlf. False information re- 
ceived at the time of Alexander's con- 
quests seems to have made gcographi- 
cal knowledge retrograde. It was 
reserved for Ptolemy to restore the 
Caspian to its true position of an in- 
land sea. 

7 It is impossible to make any exact 
comparison between the actual size of 
the Caspian and the estimate of Hero, 
dotus, since we do not know what dis- 
tance he intends by the day's voyage 
of a row-boat No light is thrown on 
this by his estimate of the rate of 
sailing vessels (iv. 86). 

It is possible, however, to compare 
the proportions. Let it then be ob- 
served that Herodotus ^akes the 
length a little less than doable of the 
greatest breadth. He is carefnl to say 
the greatest^ not the average breadth 
(tJ tifpvrdrri iarrl ain^ iavrris'). Now 
in point of fact the Caspian is 750 

miles long from north to south, and 
about 400 miles across in the bi*oadest 
part from east to west. These num- 
bers, which are certainly near the 
truth, are exactly in the proportion 
given by Herodotus of 15 to 8. There 
seems to be great reason, therefore, 
to question the conclusions of Bredow 
and others, who suppose that Hero- 
dotus measured the length of the 
Caspian from east to west, and its 
breadth from north to south, and was 
right in doing so, since the Sea of Aral 
formed a part of the Caspian in ancient 
times. It would be strange indeed if 
the sea had so entirely altered its 
shape, and yet preserved exactly the 
proportions of its ancient bed. 

® This was true within the limits of 
our author's geographical knowledge. 
Peaks in the Caucasus attain the 
height Qjf 17,000 feet. Neither in 
Taurus, nor in Zagros, nor in any of 
the European Alps is the elevation so 
great. Herodotus was ignorant of the 
Himalaya, and even of the range 
south of the Caspian, where Mount 
Domavend rises to a height exceeding 
20,000 feet. 


204. On the west then, as I have said, the Caspian Sea is 
bounded by the range of Caucasus. On the east it is followed 
by a vast plain, stretching out interminably before the eye,* 
the greater portion of which is possessed by those Massagetie, 
against whom Gyrus was now so anxious to make an expedi- 
tion. Many strong motives weighed with him and urged him 
on — ^his birth especiaUy, which seemed something more than 
human, and his good fortune in all his former wars, wherein 
he had always found, that against what country soever he 
turned his arms, it was impossible for that people to escai)e. 

206. At this time the Massagetae were rided by a queen, 
named Tomyris, who at the death of her husband, the late 
king, had mounted the throne. To her Cyrus sent ambas- 
sadors, with instructions to court her on his part, pretending 
that he wished to take her to wife. Tomyris, however, aware 
that it was her kingdom, and not herself, that he courted, 
forbade the men to approach. Cyrus, therefore, finding that 
he did not advance his designs by this deceit, marched towards 
the Araxes, and openly displaying his hostile intentions, set 
to work to construct a bridge on which his army might cross 
the river, and began building towers upon the boats which were 
to be used in the passage. 

206. While the Persian leader was occupied in these labours, 
Tomyris sent a herald to him, who said, " King of the Medes, 
cease to press this enterprise, for thou canst not know if what 
thou art doing will be of real advantage to thee. Be content 
to rule in peace thy own kingdom, and bear to see us reign 
over the countries that are ours to govern. As, however, I 
know thou wilt not choose to hearken to this counsel, since 
there is nothing thou less desirest than peace and quietness, 
come now, if thou art so mightily desirous of meeting the 
MassagetsB in arms, leave thy useless toil of bridge-making ; 
let us retire three days* march from the river bank, and do 
thou come across with thy soldiers ; or, if tliou likest better to 

* Tbe deserts of Kharcsm, Kizilkoara, &c., the most southern portion of the' 
Steppe region. 

Chap. 204-207. CRCESUS ADVICE TO CYRUS. 329 

give US battle on thy side the stream, retire thyself an equal 
distance." Cyrus, on this offer, caUed together the chiefs of 
the Persians, and laid the matter before thqm, requesting 
them to advise him what he should do. All the votes were in 
favour of his letting Tomyris cross the stream, and giving 
battle on Persian ground. 

207. But Croesus the Lydian, who was present at the 
meeting of the chiefs, disapproved of this advice ; he therefore 
rose, and thus delivered his sentiments in opposition to it : 
"Oh! my king ! I promised thee long since, that, as Jove had 
given me into thy hands, I would, to the best of my power, 
avert impending danger from thy house. Alas! my own 
sufferings-, by their very bitterness, have taught me to be 
keen-sighted of dangers. K thou deemest thyself an immortal, 
and thine army an army of immortals, my counsel will doubt- 
less be thrown away upon thee. But if thou feelest thyself to 
be a man, and a ruler of men, lay this first to heart, that there 
is a wheel on which the affairs of men revolve, and that its 
movement forbids the same to be always fortimate. Now con- 
cerning the matter in hand, my judgment runs counter to the 
judgment of thy other counsellors. For if thou agreest to give 
the enemy entrance into thy country, consider what risk is 
run ! Lose the battle, and therewith thy whole kingdom is lost. 
For assuredly, the MassagetsB, if they win the fight, will not 
return to their homes, but will push forward against the states 
of thy empire. Or if thou gainest the battle, why, then thou 
gainest far less than if thou wert across the stream, where thou 
mightest follow up thy victory. For against thy loss, if they 
defeat thee on thine own ground, must be set theirs in like 
case. Bout their army on the other side of the river, and thou 
mayest push at once into the heart of their country. More- 
. over, were it not disgrace intolerable for Cyrus the son of 
Cambyses to retire before and yield ground to a woman ? My 
counsel therefore is, that we cross the stream, and pushing 
forward as far as they shall fall back, then seek to get the 
better of them by stratagem. I am told they are unacquainted 



Book L 

with the good things on which the Persians live, and have 
never tasted the great delights of life. Let us then prepare a 
feast for them in our camp ; let sheep be slaughtered without 
stint, and the winecups be filled full of noble liquor, and let 
all manner of dishes be prepared : then leaving behind us our 
worst troops, let us fall back towards the river. Unless I 
very much mistake, when they see the good fare sent out, they 
will forget aU else and fall to. Then it will remain for us to 
do our parts manfully." 

208. Cyrus, when the two plans were thus placed in 
contrast before him, changed his mind, and preferring the 
advice which Croesus had given, returned for answer to 
Tomyris, that she should retire, and that he would cross the 
stream. She therefore retired, as she had engaged; and 
Cyrus, giving Croesus into the care of his son Cambyses 
(whom he had appointed to succeed him on the throne), 
with strict charge to pay him all respect and treat him weU, 
if the expedition failed of success ; and sending them both 
back to Persia, crossed the river with his army. 

209. The first night after the passage, as he slept in the 
enemy's country, a vision appeared to him. He seemed to 
see in his sleep the eldest of the sons of Hystaspes, with wings 
upon his shoulders, shadowing with the one wing Asia, and 
Europe with the other. Now Hystaspes, the son of Arsames, 
was of the race of the Achsemenidse,^ and his eldest son, 
Darius, was atihat time scarce twenty years old ; wherefore, 
not being o^ge to go to the wars, he had remained behind 
in Persia. When Cyrus woke from his sleep, and turned the 
vision over in his mind, it seemed to him no light matter. 
He therefore sent for Hystaspes, and taking him aside said, 
** Hystaspes, thy son is discovered to be plotting against me 
and my crown. I will teU thee how I know it so certainly. 

' For the entire genealo^ of Darius, 
see note on book vii. ch. 11. It may 
be obaerred here that the inaoriptions 
oonfirm Heroddna Urns far. Darina 

was son of Hystaspes (Vashtispa) and 
grrandson of Arsames (Arshima). He 
traced his descent through foor anoee- 
tors to Aohsmenee (Hakh^manish). 

Chap. 207-211. 



The gods watch over my safety, and warn me beforehand of 
every danger. Now last night, as I lay in my bed, I saw in a 
vision the eldest of thy sons with wings upon his shoulders, 
shadowing with the one wing Asia, and Europe with the other. 
From this it is certain, beyond aU possible doubt, that he is 
engaged in some plot against me. Beturn thou then at once 
to Persia, and be sure, when I come back from conquering the 
Massagetffi, to have thy son ready to produce before me, that 
I may examine him.*' 

210. Thus Cyrus spoke, in the belief that he was plotted 
against by Darius ; but he missed the true meaning of the 
dream, which was sent by God to forewarn him, that he was 
to die then and there, and that his kingdom was to fall at last 
to Darius. 

Hystaspes made answer to Cyrus in these words : — ** Heaven 
forbid, sire, that there should be a Persian living who would 
plot against thee! U such an one there be, may a speedy 
death overtake him ! Thou foundest the Persians a race of 
slaves, thou hast made them free men : thou foundest them 
subject to others, thou hast made them lords of aU. If a 
vision has announced that my son is practising against thee, 
lo, I resign him into thy hands to deal with as thou wilt.'* 
Hystaspes, when he had thus answered, recrossed the Araxes 
and hastened back to Persia, to keep a watch on his son 

211. Meanwhile Cyrus, having advanced a day's march 
from the river, did as Croesus had advised him, and, leaving 
the worthless portion of his army in the camp, drew off with 
his good troops towards the river. Soon afterwards a detach- 
ment of the MassagetsB, one-third of their entire army, led by 
Spargapises,^ son of the queen Tomyris, coming up, fell upon 

' The identity of this name with the 
** Spargapithes/' mentioned as a Scy- 
thian king in book iv. (ch. 76), is of 
importance towards determining the 
ethnic family to which the MassagctsB 
are to be aasigned. The Arian deriva- 

tion of the word (Svarga, pita) is 

[The Arian etymology is perhaps 
more apparent than real. At least 
" Heaven father " — which would be 
the meaning of the name in Sanscrit 



Book I. 

the body which had been lefk behmd by Cyrus, and on their 
resistance put them to the sword. Then, seeing the banquet 
prepared, they sat down and began to feast. When they had 
eaten and drunk their fill, and were now sunk in sleep, the 
Persians under Cyrus arrived, slaughtered a great multitude, 
and made even a larger number prisoners. Among these last 
was Spargapises himself. 

212. When Tomyris heard what had befallen her son and 
her army, she sent a herald to Cyrus, who thus addressed the 
conqueror : — ** Thou bloodthirsty Cyrus, pride not thyself on 
this poor success: it was the grape-juice — which, when ye 
drink it, makes you so mad, and as ye swallow it down brings 
up to your lips such bold and wicked words — it was this poison 
wherewith thou didst ensnare my child, and so overcamest 
him, not in fair open fight. Now hearken what I advise, and 
be sure I advise thee for thy good. Restore my son to me 
and get thee from the land unharmed, triumphant over a third 
part of the host of the Massagetae. Refuse, and I swear by 
the sun, the sovereign lord of the Massagetae, bloodthirsty as 
thou art, I will give thee thy fill of blood." 

213. To the words of this message Cyrus paid no manner of 
regard. As for Spargapises, the son of the queen, when the 
wine went off, and he saw the extent of his calamity, he made 
request to Cyrus to release him from his bonds ; then, when 
his prayer was granted, and the fetters were taken from his 
limbs, as soon as his hands were free, he destroyed himself. 

214. Tomyris, when she found that Cyrus paid no heed'to 
her advice, collected all the forces of her kingdom, and gave 
him battle. Of all the combats in which the barbarians have 
engaged among themselves, I reckon this to have been the 
fiercest. The following, as I understand, was the manner of 
it : — First, the two armies stood apart and shot their arrows at 

— ^is an nnsatisfactory oomponnd. 
And, besides, the sv of the Sansorit 
invariably changes to an aspirate or 
gnttoral in the Zend, Persian, and 

other cognate dialects — »i»arpa in fact 
becoming kheng or gangy as in the 
famons gangdiz or Paradise of Persian 
romance. — H. C. R.] 



each other ; then, when their qniverB were empty, they closed 
and fought hand-to-haud with lances and daggers ; and thus 
they continued fighting for a length of time, neither choosing 
to give ground. At length the Massagetae prevailed. The 
greater part of the army of the Persians was destroyed, and 
Cyrus himself feU, after reigning nine and twenty years. 
Search was made among the slain by order of the queen for 
the body of Cyrus, and when it was found she took a skin, 
and, filling it full of human blood, she dipped the head of 
Cyrus in the gore, saying, as she thus insulted the corse, " I 
live and have conquered thee in fight, and yet by thee am I 
ruined, for thou tookest my son with guile ; but thus I make 
good my threat, and give thee thy fill of blood." Of the many 
different accounts which are given of the death of Cyrus, this 
which I have followed appears to me most worthy of credit.' 

' It may be qneetioned whether the 
aooonnt, which oat of many seemed to 
oar author meet worthy of credit, was 
ever really the most credible. Unwit- 
tingly Herodotns waa drawn towards 
the most romantic and poetic version 
of each story, and what he admired 
most seemed to him the likeliest to 
be trae. There is no insincerity or 
pretence in this. In real good faith 
he adopts the most perfectly poetic 
tale or legend. He does not, like 
Liyy, knowingly falsify history. 

With respect to the particular mat- 
ter of the death of Cyras, the fact of 
the existence of his tomb at Pasargadse, 
Yoached for by Aristobulos, one of the 
companions of Alexander (mach better 
reported by Arrian, vi. 29, than by 
Strabo, xv. p. 1036), seems conclasive 
against the historic trath of the narra- 
tive of Herodotns. Larcher's snpposi- 
tion that the tomb at Pasargadse was 
a cenotaph (Histoire d'Herod., vol. i. 
p. 509) is contradicted by the whole 
relation in Arrian, where we hear not 
only of the gold sarcophagas, bat of 
the body also, whereof, after the tomb 
had been violated, Aristobalas himself 
collected and interred the remains. 
The iiiscription too ("lam Cyrus, the 

son of Cambyses, who foanded the 
empire of the Persians, and rnled over 
Asia. Gradge me not then this 
monament ") ooald scarcely have been 
placed on a cenotaph. There can be 
no reasonable doubt that the body of 
Cyras was interred in the tomb de- 
scribed, after Aristobulos, in Arrian. 

According to Xenophon, Cyrus died 
peacefully in his bed (Cyrop. viii. vii.); 
according to Ctesias, he was severely 
wounded in a battle which he fought 
with the Derbices, and died in camp 
of his wounds (Persic. Excerpt. § 6-8). 
Of those two authors, Ctesias, perhaps, 
is the less untrustworthy. On his 
authority, conjoined with that of Hero- 
dotus, it may be considered certain, 

1. That Cyrus d^ a violent death ; and 

2. That he received his death-wound 
in fight ; but against what enemy 
must continue a doubtful point. 

Thei-e is much reason to believe that 
the tomb of Cyrus still exists at Murg- 
Auht the ancient Pasargadro. On a 
square base, composed of immense 
blocks of beautiful white marble, rising 
in steps, stands a structure so closely 
resembling the description of Arrian, 
that it seems scarcely possible to doubt 
its being the tomb which in Alexander's 




Book I. 

215. In their dress and mode of living the Massaget» 
resemble the Scythians. They fight both on horseback and 
on foot, neither method is strange to them : they use bows 
and lances, but their favourite weapon is the battle-axe.* 
Their arms are all either of gold or brass. For their spear- 

Tomb of Cyrus. 

time contained the bodj of Cjrua. It 
is a quadrangnlar honse, or rather 
chamber, built of huge blocks of 
marble, 5 feet thick, which are shaped 
at the top into a sloping roof. Inter- 
nally the chamber is 10 feet long, 
7 wide, and 8 high. There are holes 
in the marble floor, which seem to 
have admitted the fastening^ of a 
sarcophagus. The tomb stands in an 
area marked out by pillars, whereon 
occurs repeatedly the inscription 
(written both in Persian and in the 
so-called Median), "I am Cyrus the 
king, the Achasmenian." A full ac- 
count, with a sketch of the structure 
(from which the accompanying view is 
taken), will be found in Ker Porter's 
Travels (vol. i. pp. 498-506). It is 

called by the natives the tomb of the 
Mother of Solomon ! 

* There is some doubt as to the 
nature of the weapon known to the 
Greeks as the adyapis. It has been 
taken for a battle-axe, a bill-hook, and 
a short curved sword or scymitar. 
Bahr (ad loc.) regards it as identical 
with the aKiy<iK'nSy but this is impos- 
sible, since it is mentioned as a distinct 
weapon in book iv. (ch. 70.) The 
expression, it^lyas aaydpis in book vii. 
(ch. 64) seems to point to the battle- 
axe, which is called sacr in Armenian. 
(Compare the Latin securis.) 

[The adyapis is in all probability the 
khartjar of modem Persia, a short, 
curved, double-edged dagger, almost 
universally worn. The orig^inal form 



points, and arrow-heads, and for their battle-axes, they make 
nse of brass ; for head-gear, belts, and girdles, of gold. So 
too with the caparison of their horses, they give them breast- 
plates of brass, but employ gold about the reins, the bit, and 
the cheek-plates. They use neither iron nor silver, having 
none in their country; but they have brass and gold in 

216. The following are some of their customs: — ^Each 
man has but one wife, yet all the wives are held in common ; for 
this is a custom of the MassagetsB and not of the Scythians, 
as the Greeks wrongly say. Human life does not come to 
its natural close with this people ; but when a man grows very 
old, all his kinsfolk collect together and offer him up in 
sacrifice ; offering at the same time some cattle also. After 
the sacrifice they boil the flesh and feast on it ; and those who 
thus end their days are reckoned the happiest. If a man dies 
of disease they do not eat him, but bury him in the ground, 
bewailing his ill-fortune that he did not come to be sacrificed. 
They sow no grain, but live on their herds, and on fish, of 
which there is great plenty in the Araxes. Milkls what they 
chiefly drink. The only god they worship is the sun, and to 
him they offer the horse in sacrifice; under the notion of 
giving to the swiftest of the gods the swiftest of all mortal 

of the word was probably sinxgar. — 
H. C. E.] 

* Both the Ural and the Altai monn- 
tains abound in gold. The richness 
of these regions in this metal is in- 
dicated (book iv. ch. 27) by the stories 
of the gold-guarding Grypes, and the 
Arimaapi who plunder them (book iii. 
ch. 116). Altai is said to be derived 
from a Tatar word signifying gold 
(Renneirs Geogr. of Herod, p. 136). 
The present productiveness of the 

Ural mountains is well known. Gold 
utenwls are frequently found in the 
tumuli which abound throughout the 
steppe region. 

® So Ovid says of the Persians — 

" Placat equo PerHld radiis Hyporiona cinctam, 
Ne detur oeleri vlciimA tarda Deo." 

Xenophon ascribes the custom both to 
them (Cyrop. viii. iii. § 24) and to 
the Armenians (Anab. iv. v. § 35). 
Horse sacrifices are said to prevail 
among the modem Parsees. 




1. Date of the taking of Sardis by Cvms — aooording to the oommon aocoant, B.C. 
646. 2. Aooording to Volney and Hoeren, B.C. 557. 8. Probable actoal date, 
B.C. 554. 4. First or mythic period of Lydian history — dynasty of the Atyads. 
5. Goloniaation of Etmria. 6. Gonqneet of the Maoonians by the Lydians — 
Torrhebia. 7. Second period— dynasty of the Heraclidae, B.C. 1229 to B.C. 724 
— descent of Agron. 8. Scantiness of the historical data for this period. 
9. Lydiaoa of Xanthos. 10. Insignificance of Lydia before Gyges. 11. Third 
period, B.C. 724-654 — ^legend of Gyges — ^he obtains the throne by favour of 
the Delphic oracle. 12. Reign of Gyges, B.C. 724-686 — his wars with the 
Greeks of the coast. 18. Reign of Ardys, B.C. 686-637. 14. Invasion of the 
Cimmerians. 15. Reign of Sadyattes, B.C. 637-625. 16. Reig^ of Alyattes, 
B.C. 625-568 — war with Miletos. 17. Great war between Alyattes and Cyaz- 
ares, king of Media— eclipse of Thales, B.C. 603 (?). 18. Peacefal close of his 
reign — employment of the population in the constmotion of his tomb. 19. 
Supposed association of Crcesus in the government by Alyattes. 20. Reign 
of CroBSUs, B.C. 568-554 — his enormous wealth. 21. Powerful effect on the 
Greek mind of his reverse of fortune — ^his history becomes a favourite theme 
with romance writers, who continually embellish it. 

1. The early chronology of Lydia depends entirely npon the trne 
date of the taking of Sardis by Cyrus. Clinton, Grote, Bahr, and 
most recent chronologers, following the authority of Sosicrates^ 

1 Although Sosiorates is referred to 
by Mr. Grote (vol. iv. p. 264, note*) 
and by Mr. Clinton, under the year B.C. 
546, as an authority for placing the 
oapture of Sardis in that year, yet the 
paosage in Diogenes Laertius, to which 
reference is xnade (i. 95), produces, 
aooording to Clinton's own showing 
(AppendiuE, zviL vol. ii. p. 361), not 
the year b.c. 546, but the follovring 
year, b.c. 545. It is, perhaps, more 
important to observe that Sosicrates 
says nothing at all of the taking of 
Sardis, but only affirms that Periander 
died in the last year of the 48th 
Olympiad, forty-one yean heffore 

Crmsus, He can scarcely have meant, 
as we should naturally have under- 
stood from the passage, before the 
death of Croesus ; but it is quite pes- 
sible that he may have meant to refer 
to his accession. The following sy- 
nopsis of the dates given in ancient 
writers for the accession of Gygea 
will show the uncertainty of the 
chronology even of the third Lydiaa 
dynasty:— \^ 

Dkmysins H*llcama8. (in one pttsmge) . .718 
Certain aatbon referred to by Pliny . . . 71T 

8o0icratee (?) 715 

Pliny uul Clemens Alexandr 706 

EoneblaB SM 

DIoayriiM HaUcar. (in uMCher pMMge) . ••• 




and SolintLS, place the capture in the third year of the 68th 
Olympiad, B.C. 546. As Sosicrates flourished in the 2nd century 
B.C., and Solinus in the time of the Antonines, no great value, as 
Mr. Ghrote allows,' can be attached to their evidence. It is cer- 
tainly confirmed, in some degree, by Dionysius of Halicamassus, 
who, in one passage,^ expresses himself in a way which would 
seem to show that he regarded the event as having occurred only 
two years earlier. But it must not be forgotten that from another 
passage of this writer,* it might be gathered that he would have 
placed the capture seventeen years later, in the year B.C. 528. The 
date of Solinus also is confirmed or copied by Eusebius, who gives 
the year B.C. 546 for the end of the Lydian monarchy.* 

2. Yolney,' on the contrary, maintains, against Solinus and Sosi- 
crates, that the true date of the capture must be many years earlier. 
He proposes B.C. 557 as the most probable year, and his conclusions 
have been adopted by Heeren.'' 

The following objections seem to lie against the date usually 

The conquest of Astyages by Cyrus is determined by the general 
consent of chronologers to fall within the space B.C. 561-558. This 
event can hardly have preceded the taking of Sardis by from twelve 
to fifteen years ; at least if Herodotus is to be regarded as a toler- 
able authority even for the general connexion of the events of this 
period. For Herodotus says that the defeat of Astyages determined 
CrcBsus to attack Cyrus before he became still more powerful ; and 
that he immediately began the consultation of the oracles,^ on which. 

• History of Greece, part ii. ch. 
zxxii. (vol. iv. p. 265, note). 

' De Thncyd. Charact. c. 5. *Hp69oTos 
— ap^dfiffos iarh r^s rStv AvBtay Jivya- 
CTflaSy fi^XP^ "^^^^ TlfpiTiKOv xoK^fiov jcorc- 
fit0<ur€ r^v laropiaof, irdaas rhs iv rots 
rartrapdKOvra iced ^uutotriois trfiri ytvo' 
/Uifos irpd^€is — npiKafi^v. As Hero- 
dotus conclndes his history with the 
year B.C. 479, the commencement, of 
the Lydian history wonld be, according 
to this passage, B.C. 718, which would 
give (718-170) B.C. 648 for the end of 
the monarchy. 

* Epist. ad Cn. Pompeinm, c. 3 (p. 
773). *^p6l(no5 8i, iirh rris hvZwp 
fioffiKtias &o^dfi€¥os — 8ic|cX0c6v re 
irpd^fit 'EAA^Ko^ icai fiapfidpwy trfffiv 
SfAOv BtaKocloa Kcd cfico<ri, k,t,\, 

VOL. I. 

^ Chronic. Canon. Pars. ii. p. 333. 

^ Becherches snr I'Histoire An- 
cienno, vol. i. pp. 306-9. 

7 Manual of Ancient Hist., book i. 
p. 29 (Eng. Translation, Talboys), and 

* *H *A<rTu<{7«oj Tou Kva^dptu riyt- 
fiovir\ KceraiptBuaa iirh K6pov tov Ko/a- 
fi^atWf iced rh rStv Titpcrtuv lepirynara 
aO^cofSfityay T^vOfos fiir Kpourov &ir^ 
irav0'€* ivi^riat Z\ is ^pomlZoj il kws 
^iyouroy irply fityd\ovs yty^aBai 
robs Il4paasy KaraXafitir avruy ah^or 
yofi4yfiy riiyB {fyc^iity. Mct^ &y r^y 8ia- 
yolouf rairriy aitriKa airtirtipaTO r&y 
fuzyrritwyy K.r.K. (Herod, i. 46.) So 
Strabo says, Utpacu iup* ot Kvr4\vaav 
rh M^8»v c V V f fcal kvZSiy iKpdTrjtray 
(XV. p. 1044). 



App. Book I. 

it would seem, the war followed within (at most) a year or two. 
It was the object of Croesus to hurry on the struggle, and two or 
three years (the former is the period assigned by Volney) would 
probably have been time enough for all the necessary preparations, 
including the negotiations with Sparta, Egypt, and Babylon.* No 
one can read the narrative in Herodotus and imagine that he meant 
to represent more than a very few years as intervening between the 
conquest of the Modes by Cyrus, and Croesus's invasion of Cappa- 
docia. The twelve or thirteen years required by the commonly 
adopted date are contradicted expreaaly by his narrative. For the 
whole reign of Croesus is but fourteen years ; and if we assign even 
twelve of these to the period of preparation for the Persian war, we 
leave but two years for all the earlier events of his reign, a single 
one of which, the mourning for his son, is stated to have occupied 
that full period of time.^ It may be argued, indeed, that just as the 
conquests of Croesus and his interview with Solon were (according 
to some writers ') anterior to the fourteen years of his reign as sole 
king, occurring during a period in which he reigned jointly with 
his father, so the dream, the coming of Adrastus, and the marriage 
and death of Atys, may have preceded the decease of Alyattes ; but 
even though the former view should be allowed, the latter suppo- 
sitions are rendered impossible, both by the general tone of the 
narrative, and by the fact that Croesus was but thiriy-five at the 
death of his &ther,^ which would prevent his having a marriageable 
son till some years afterwards. 

The following is the arrangement of the Lydian dynasties accord- 
ing to the ordinary chronology : — 

• Heiod. i. 69 and 77. * Ibid. i. 46. 

i Larcher. Note on Herod, i. 27 
(vol. i. p. 210). Clinton F. H. vol. ii. 
pp. 862.6. It will be proved in its 
proper place that there are no snffi. 
dent gronndB for believing that 
Alyattes associated Crcesns in the 
goyemment, or that any of the events 
ascribed by Herodotus to the fonrteen 
years of Croesus belong to the reign 
of Alyattes. The following wonld 
seem to have been the view taken by 
Herodotns of the reign of Cro&sns : — 


CroBSOS* at 35 yean of an (ch. 26)« 
succeeds hla &ther. (His son At js 
inis^tbel0orl27earaold.) Attacks 
and takes Ephosus (ch. 86)w 





Continues the war with the Oreeks of 
the coast, and afterwards conquers 
the whole country within the Halys 
(chaps. 27, 28). Atys takes part in 
some of these wars (ch. 37). 

Visit of Solon (ch. 29). 

CroBsus's dream. Marriage of Atys at 
the age of 18 or 20 (chaps. 34, 35). 
Atys kiUed by Adrastus (chaps. 36- 

CroBsns mourns for Atys (ch. 45 end). 
Hears of the defeat of Astyages 
fch. 46). 

Croesus sends to Delphi and the other 
oracles (chaps. 46-56). 

Alliances concluded with Sparta, 
Babylon, and Egj-pt (chaps. 69 and 



Ooesus crosses the Halys, and attacks 
Cyrus. Sardis taken by (Tyros. 
< Herod, i. 26. 





1st DjnaBtj 
2nd DjiiaBtj 
8rd Dynasty 



MermnadflB — 

1. Gyges ... 

2. Ardys ... 

3. Sadyattes 

4. Alyattes 

5. CnBsns ... 


anterior to 1221 
B.C. 1221to 716 

B.C. 716 to 678 

,, 678 to 629 

„ 629 to 617 

„ 617 to 660 

,, 560 to 546 

According to the chronology of Volney, which is adopted by 
Heeren, the several dates will be as follows : — 

Ist Dynasty ... 
2nd Dynasty ... 
3rd Dynasty ... 



MermnadflB — 

1. Gyges ... 

2. Ardys ... 

3. Sadyattes 

4. Alyattes... 

5. CrcBsns ... 


anterior to 1232 
B.c.l232to 727 

B.C. 727to 689 

„ 689 to 640 

„ 640 to 628 

„ 628 to 571 

„ 571 to 557 

3. The dates assumed in the present work are slightly different 
from these last. The accession of Croesus is regarded as having 
happened in the year B.C. 568, and the fall of Sardis in B.C. 554. 
This is in part the necessary consequence of an alteration of the 
date of Cyrus's victory over Astyages, which Volney and Heeren 
place in B.C. 561. As the astronomical canon of Ptolemy fixes the 
death of Cyrus to B.C. 529, and Herodotus ascribes but twenty-nine 
years to the reign of that prince, it has been thought best to regard 
B.C. 558 as the first year of Cyrus in Media.^ In order, therefore, 
to preserve the same interval between the defeat of Astyages and 
the fall of Sardis, which Volney gathers from the narrative of Hero- 
dotus, the latter event would have to be assigned to the year B.C. 
555. It is here placed one year later on the following grounds : — 
A space of two years does not seem to be sufficient time to allow 
for all Croesus's consultations with the oracles, and his negotiations 
with powers so distant as Egypt and Babylonia. Volney's theory 

* The length of Cyrus's reign is 
variously stated at 29, 30, and 31 
years. I regard the authority of 
Herodotus as so much higher than 
that of the Mrritera who give the other 
numbers — Justin, Dino (ap. Cic. Div. 
i. 23), and Eusebius give 30, Severus 
and the ecclesiastical writers gener- 
ally, 31 years — that I feel no hesita- 
tion in preferring his statement. 

Apart, however, from the mere con- 
sideration of authority, the other 
numbers would be open to suspicion. 
Round numbers are always suspi. 
cious ; and the fact that " the eccle- 
siastical writers," who were always 
seeking to bolster up a system, are 
the sole authority for the 31 years 
(Syncellus, p. 497), is a strong argu- 
ment against its being the truth. 


cmuxa^oijOGT of ltixa. 


crowds the ifiexdents iiniur<' wiiily.' And fortiiav i^ tKe fill of 
Ssrdis were Msii^iied to tlie jcmr BX. -So^S, die negodstioiis would 
bH into the year BwC. •>><>. But st this period LAfajnetos ('Xabona- 
diiu) did not occnpj the throne of B^brlon. His scceanon is fixed 
hj the sstronomical cmnon to B.C. d->>. Thns the negotimtioiis could 
not be euiier than b.c. ^>5, nor the fill of Sardis than B.C. 5M. 
This ijnchronism, which escaped the notice of Volner, seems to he 
eoDclnsire against his sdieme, which, starting on sound prxnciplea, 
a oonyiction of the worthlessness of such authorities as Solinns and 
Sosicrates, and a feeing that the ordinary chronologr, based npon 
ihetr statements, was irreconcilable with Herodotns, adxanced to 
false conclnsiofns, because the fixed points of contemporary history, 
which alone oould determine the true dates, were either forgotten 
CT mtsoonceired. By correcting Yolney's error and supplying his 
omission, the scheme, adopted in the text, and exhibited synoptic- 
ally at the end of this chapter, has been constructed. It places 
the erents of Lydian history eight years earlier than the ordinary 
chronology, three years later than the system of Yolney and Heeren. 
It is, in brief, as follows : — 


1st DjiiMty 

. ... AtyBd» 

anterior to 1229 

2Dd Djnasty 

, ... HeracUds 

B.c.l229to 724 

8rd Dynasty 

• .. ypTTnTt^fcil«»— — 

1. Gyges ... 

B.c.724to 686 

2. Ardys ... 

„ 686 to 637 

8. Sadyattes 

„ 637 to 625 

4. Alyattes 

,, 625 to 668 

6. CnBsns ... 

„ 668to 654* 

4. With regard to the first period of Lydian history, anterior to 
the accession of the dynasty called by Herodotus HeraclidBe, it 
seems rightly termed by Yolney and Heeren,^ ''uncertain and 
fabulous.'' The royal genealogies of the AtyadsB (as it has been 
usual to call them), beyond which there is scarcely anything be- 
long^g to the period that even claims to be history, have the 
appearance, with which the early Gh:eek legends make us so familiar, 

* Seo his Rochercbes, Chronologie des 
Bois Lydiens, pp. 807, 806. 

' Tho Parian marble, in the only 
date bearing on the point which is 
legible, that of the embassy sent 
from CrcDHUs to Delphi (lines 66, 57), 
▼ery nearly agrees with this view. 
The embassy is placed in what most 
olearly be the 292nd year of the 

Marble, which is the first year of the 
66th Olympiad, or B.C. 656. The 
scheme adopted in the text would 
place tho first embassy to Delphi in 
B.C. 557, the last in the year following. 
^ Heeren' 8 Manual of Ancient Hist., 
Appendix iii. (p. 478, Eng. translation, 




of artificial arrangements of the heroes eponymi of the nation. The 
Manes, Atjs, Ljdns, Asies, Tjrsenus of Herodotns and Dionjsins, 
and even the Torjbos (or Torrhebns) and Adramytes of Xanthns 
Lydns, stand in Ljdian history where Hellen, Pelasgus, Ion, Dorus, 
Achsens, j^olns, stand in Ghreek. Only two names are handed down 
in the lists of this period, which are devoid to all appearance of an 
ethnic character, the names of Meles and Cotys. Manes, the first 
king after Zeus, according to the complete genealogy preserved in 
Dionysins,' may &irly be considered, as was long ago observed by 
Freret, the eponymos of the MaBonians.* Atys gives his name to 
the royal race of AtyadsB, Lydns to the Lydians, Asies to the con- 
tinent of Asia, Tyrrhenus to the distant Tyrrhenians, Torrhebus, 
or Torybus, to the region of Lydia called Torrhebia, or Torybia, 
Adramytes to the town of Adramyttimn. And the complete gene- 
alogy referred to above, of which the notices in Herodotns seem to 
be fragments, is, if not an additional proof of the mythical character 
of these personages, yet a snflELcient indication of the feeling of 
antiquity with respect to them. Manes, the first king, the son of 

^ Antiq. Bom. i. 28. This genealogy 
may be thus exhibited in a tabular 
form ; — 

Zexu and Terra. 
I . I 

Inscr., torn. v. p. 807), and Grote 
maintain as probable (vol. iii. p. 300, 
note), that Dionysiiis gives the com- 

Manes - Callirbo?, daughter of Ooeanna. 



Cotys = HaUd, daughter of TyUos. 



AtTs = Calllthea, daughter of Chonens. 


The three notices in Herodotns (i. 7, 
i. 94, and iy. 45) harmonise perfectly 
with this genealogy, except in a single 
point* In book i. ch. 94, Atys is made 
the son instead of the grandson of 
Hanes. This may be an inaccuracy 
on the part of Herodotus, or possibly 
he would have drawn out the tree 
thus: — 



• — 1» 




It is curious that Freret should posi- 
tively assert (M^oirea de I'Acad. des 


plete genealogy from XamtKus, This 
is quite impossible, since Dionysius 
contrasts the opinion of Xanthus with 
that of the persons who put forward 
this mythical genealogy, in which 
moreover the name of Tyrsenns occurs 
(not Torrhebus, as Grote says, mis- 
quoting Dionysius) ; a name of which 
Xanthus, according to the same writer, 
made no mention at all. 

* M^moires de TAcad^mie des In. 
scriptions, tom. v. p. 308. Perhaps, 
however, he is rather the equivalent of 
Menes in Egypt, Menu in India, MinoR 
in Crete, Mannus in Germany, Ac, 
a mere first man* 



App. Book I. 

Zens and Terra, marries Gallirboe, a danghter of Oceanns, and 
becomes thereby tbe father of Cotjs. Cotjs, removed one step 
farther from divinity, is content with an earthly bride, and takes 
to wife Hali6, danghter of Tyllns, by whom he has two sons, Asies, 
who gives name to Asia, and Atys, his successor npon the throne. 
Atys marries Callithea, danghter of Choreens, and is &ther of Tyr- 
senns and Lydns. 

6. The few focts delivered in connexion with these names are, 
for the most part, as mythical as the personages by whom they 
were borne. The legend which has handed down to ns the name 
of Meles ^ is perhaps scarcely less entitled to rank as history than 
the tradition which ascribed the origin of the great Etruscan nation 
to a colony which Tyrrhenus, son of Atys, led into Italy from the 
&r-off land of Lydia. Xanthus, the native historian, it must never 
be forgotten, ignored the existence of Tyrrhenus, and protested 
against the tradition (which he must have known) not merely, as 
is often said,' by the negative testimony of silence, but by filling 
up the place of Tyrrhenus with a different, personage, Tory bus or 
Torrhebus, who, instead of leading a colony into Etruria, remained 
at home and gave his name to a district of his native land.' The 
arguments of Dionysius,^ deemed worthy of the valuable praise of 
Niebuhr,* have met with no suflELcient answer from those who, not- 
withstanding, maintain the Lydian origin of the Etruscans. It 
remains certain, both that the Lydians had no such settled tradition, 
and that even if they had had any such, '* it would have deserved 
no credit by the complete difference of the two nations in language, 
usages, and religion." ' All analysis of the Etruscan language leads 

^ Herod, i. 84. I regard the Meles 
of Herodotus, whose wife gave birth to 
a lion, as a very different and far 
more ancient personage than the 
Meles of Eosebins, who reigned shortly 
before Candanles. Both kings are 
noticed by Nioolans Damasoenns 
(Frag. Hist. Gr. vol. iii. p. 371 and 

' Laroher, Histoire d'H^rodote, note 
on i. 94 (vol. i. p. 362) : " Oto pourrait 
r^pondre cependant qne ce n'est qa*nn 
argument nigatif , qui n'a auoune force 
centre un fait positivement ^onc^ 
par un historien graye/' &o. Greuzer 
in Symb. ii. p. 828, not. Bikhr's 
Herod. Exours. ii. ad Herod, i. 94. 

• Xanthus ap. Dionys. Hal. "Atwoj 5i 
ireudas ywiffBai X^ci iivtbp fcol T6pvfioyf 
ro^ovs 8^ fi€purafi4yovs r^y irvrpt^aof 
^X^"* ^v *AtrOf, Karofiurou ifKbordpovSt 
fco) rois fdytffiy &v ^p|ay> ^ iKtivuv ^<r\ 

AvSov fiiv yivomfu Av8o2, kieh 8^ Top^^v, 
T6pvfiot, Cf. Staph. Byz. in voc. T^^- 
^flfios, T6^^rifios ir6\is AvlHas, iarh To^ 
^"flfiov rod "Arvos, 

* Ant. Bom. lib. i. (vol. i. pp. 21.24, 
Oxf. Ed.) 

« History of Rome, vol. i. pp. 38-39 
(Engl, translation, edition of 1831). 

^ Ibid. ib. p. 109. It has been said 
(Creuzer, in Symb.) that Xanthus 
might have concealed intentionally 




to the conclnsion that it is in its non-Pelasgic element altogether 
sui generU^ and qnite nnconnected, so far as appears, with any of 
the dialects of Asia Minor. The Ljdians, on the other hand, who 
were of the same family with the Carians,^ who are called Leleges,® 
must have spoken a language closely akin to the Pelasgic ; and the 
connexion of Lydia with Italy, if any, must have been through the 
Pelasgic, not through the ItaUc element in the population. 

Indeed, if the tradition conceal any fact (and perhaps there never 
yet was a wide-spread tradition that did not), it would seem to be 
this, that a kindred population was spread in early times from the 
shores of Asia Minor to the north-western boundary of Italy. No- 
thing is more unlikely than the sudden movement of a large 
body of men, \ in times so remote as those to which the tradition 
refers, from I^dia to the Etruscan coast. Nothing, on the other 
hand, is more probable, or more agreeable to the general tenor of 
ancient history,^ than the gradual passage of a kindred people, or 
kindred tribes, from Asia Minor to western Europe. 

It may also well be, as Niebuhr thinks,^ that there is another 
entirely distinct misconception in the story, as commonly narrated. 
The connexion of race, which the original mythus was intended to 
point out, may have been a connexion between the ancient Pelasgic 
population of Italy on the one hand, and the MoeonianSy not the 

what was discreditable to his country- 
men; but could the founding of so 
great a nation as the Etruscan be 
viewed in that light ? XantDtis must 
have know^the story, which Hero- 
dotus recei^A from certain Lydians 
{<paff\ 9k ainol Av8ol, i. 94), and under- 
stood it, as H(^rodotus himself un- 
doubtedly did, to assert the Lydian 
origin of the existing Etruscan people. 
It seems now to be tolerably certain 
that Niebuhr's attempted distinction 
between the words Tyrrhenian and 
Etruscan is etymolpgically unsound 
(Donaldson's Yarroniknus, ch. i. § 11) ; 
and so the traditioik literally taken, 
could mean nothing i)ut the Lydian 
origin of the Etrusci. Against this 1 
understand Xanthus to protest. He 
need not be considered as pronouncing 
against the connexion, spoken of 
below, between the Pelasgi whom the 
Etruscans conquered, and the Msoo- 
nians whom the Lydians drove out. 

7 The attempt made by Mr. Donald- 
son, in his Yarronianus (pp. 101-136), 
to connect the Etruscan with the 
other Italic languages, is not generally 
regarded by comparative philologers as 

" Lydus was a brother of Car 
(Herod, i. 171). 

• Kapcf — T^ xaXcuhr iStms Miyu tm 
KariiKooi K(d Ka\t6fA,(yot AtXtyts. — He- 
rodotus ib. Cf. Strabo, vii. p. 495. 

^ See the Appendix to this Book, 
Essay xi. § 12. 

* History of Home, vol. i. p. 108. 
Niebuhr seems to consider that the 
Lydians and the Kseonians were 
races as unconnected and opposed, as 
the old Pelasgic inhabitants of Italy 
and their Etruscan conquerors. I 
regard all the tribes of the West coast 
of Asia Minor as akin to the Pelasgi. 
See the chapter on the Pelasgi, in the 
Appendix to Book vi. Essay ii. § 2. 



App. Book L 

Lydians, on the oilier. The Lydians may have been, probablj 
were, a distinct race from the MaBonians, whom they conquered ; 
and the mythns may represent the flight of the Mseonians westward 
on the occupation of their country by the Lydians. But then it 
should be remembered that Tyrrhenus and Lydus are own brothers, 
both sons of Atys and Callithea; that is, the two tribes, though 
distinct, are closely allied, perhaps as near to each other as the 
Qreek tribes of Dorians and lonians, to which Xanthus, in his 
version of the story, compared them.' For we must not think that 
there is any more of exact historic truth in the tale of Xanthus than 
in that of Herodotus. Xanthus, too, must be e3q)ounded mythi- 
cally. He is to be regarded as telling another portion of the truth, 
omitted from the Herodotcan mythus, namely, that at the time 
when one part of the Maoonians moved westward, another part 
remained in Asia, and, under the name of Torrhebi, continued to 
inhabit a district of their ancient country, as subjects of their 
Ljdian conquerors. Here, too, Lydus and Torrhebus are brothers. 
This misconception, therefore, if such it be, would ethnically be of 
very little moment. 

6. One or two facts seem at length to loom forth from the mist 
and darkness of these remote ages ; and these facts appear to com- 
prise the whole that can be said to be historic in the traditions of 
the first dynasty. First, the country known to the Greeks as Lydia, 
was anciently occupied by a race distinct, and yet not wholly alien 
from the Ljdian, who were called MaBom'ans.^ This people was 
conquered hy the Lydians, and either fled westward across the sea, 
or submitted to the conquerors ; or possibly, in part submitted, and 
in part fled the country. Secondly, from the date of this conquest, 
or at any rate, from very early times, Lydia was divided into two 
districts, Lydia Proper and Torrhebia, in which two distinct 
dialects were spoken, differing from each other as much as Doric 
from Ionic Qreek. It is highly probable that the Torrhebians were 
a remnant of the more ancient people, standing in the same relation 
to the inhabitants of Lydia Proper as the Welsh to the English, or, 
still more exactly, as the Norwegians to the Swedes. 

• Xanthns in DionTS. Hal. ro&rw¥ (sc. 
AvSwy icol Topifiwy) ^ yK6xr<ra ohiyov 
wapa^pu, Koi yvp iht cvKov(riy aWiiXovs 
p4ifun-a o^K 6\iya, &(nrtp "iwv^s koX 

^ The fact, bo often noted, that 

Homer makes no mention of Lydia 
or Lydians, while he names Meaonians 
in conjunction with Carians (Hiad. ii. 
864-867) is a strong confirmation of 
the assertion of Herodotus. 




7. In entering on Herodotus's second period, with respect to 
which he seems to have believed that he possessed accurate chro- 
nological data, it must be at once confessed that we do not find 
ourselves much nearer the domain of authentic history. The gene- 
alogy of Agron, first king of the second dynasty, is scarcely less 
mythic than that of Lydus himself. Hercules, Alcaeus, Belus, 
Ninus — ^the four immediate ancestors of Agron — form an aggregate 
of names more contradictory, if less decidedly mythological, than 
the list in which figure Zeus and Terra, Callirhoe, the daughter of 
Ocean, and Asies, who gave name to the Asiatic continent. While 
Hercules, with his son AIcsdus, and the name Heraclides, applied 
by Herodotus to the dynasty, take our thoughts to Greece, and 
indicate a Greek or Pelasgic origin to this line of monarchs, Belus, 
the Babylonian god-king, and Ninus, the reputed founder of 
Nineveh,* summon us away to the far regions of Mesopotamia, and 
suggest an Assyrian conquest of the country, or possibly a Semitic 
origin to the Lydian people. Among the wide range of fabulous 
descents with which ancient authors have delighted to fill their 
pages, it would be diflEicult to find a transition so abrupt and start- 
ling as that from AIcbbus, son of Hercules, to Belus, father of Ninus.' 
It seems necessary absolutely to reject one portion of the genealogy 
or the other, not only as untrue, but as unmeaning ; for the elements 
refuse to amalgamate. Accordingly we find that writers, who, as 
Larcher,' accept without hesitation the descent from Hercules, pass 
by the names of Ninus and Belus, as though there were nothing 
remarkable in them; while those who are struck, like Niebuhr," 
with the importance of such names in such a position, and from the 
fact of their occurrence conclude the dynasty to be Assyrian, are 
obliged to set aside, as insignificant, the descent from AIcsbub and 
Hercules. This portion of the genealogy can certainly in no case 
be regarded as historical, and at most cannot mean more than that 
the dynasty was Pelasgic, or in other words native ; but the other 

* It is true that Herodotus nowhere 
makes express mention of Ninns as 
founder of Nineveh, but we can 
Bcarcelj be mistaken in considering 
that this name, occurring as it does in 
connexion with that of Belus, in- 
dicates that personage, so generally 
regarded by the Greeks as the first 
monarch of Assyria. 

* It does not greatly elucidate this 

mysterious connexion to learn, on the 
authority of Julius Pollux, that 
"Ninus, son of Belus, gave his own 
son the name of Agron, because he 
M-as bom in the country** (4y iyp^)> 
Larcher on Herod, i. 7, note 21, 

7 Histoire d'H^rodote, vol. i., notes 
on book i. ch. vii. 

8 Kleine Schriften, p. 371. 



App. Book I. 

part might possibly be very simple history, and if so, it would be 
history of the most important character. It might indicate the 
very simple fact which Volney has drawn from it, that Ninns, the 
founder of the Assyrian empire, conqnered Lydia, and placed his 
son Agron npon the throne.® And this would derive confirmation 
from the celebrated passage of Ctesias, where Lydia is included 
among the conquests of the great Assyrian.^ But on the whole the 
balance of the evidence seems to be against any Assyrian conquest^ 
or indeed any early connexion of Assyria with Lydia. Herodotus 
expressly limits the empire of the Assyrians to Asia above (i. e, to 
the east of) the Halys ; ^ and no trustworthy author extends their 
dominion beyond it. Ctesias is a writer whose authority is always 
of the weakest, and in the passage referred to he outdoes himself in 
boldness of invention.^ Again : there is nothing Semitic, either in 
the names or in the government of the kings of this dynasty, nor 
indeed are any traces to be found of Semitic conquest or colonisa- 
tion in this region.^ Further, the cuneiform inscriptions, so far as 
they have been hitherto decyphered, are silent as to any expeditions 
of the Assyrians beyond the Hayls, entirely agreeing with Hero- 
dotus in representing their influence in this quarter as confined to 
the nations immediately bordering upon Armenia.* Moreover, the 
narrative of Herodotus is inconsistent with the notion founded 
upon it, that Ninus conquered Lydia and placed his son Agron 
upon the throne. For Herodotus represents the HeraclidfiB as 
previously subjects of the Atyadse, put by them in offices of trust> 
and so seizing the supreme power, like the Mayors of the Palace 
under the Merovingian line of French kings. And they finally 
obtain the kingdom, not by conquest, but by an oracle.^ Herodotus 
may possibly have conceived of Belus and Ninus as going forth 
from Lydia in the might of their divine descent to the conquest of 
Mesopotamia, but he certainly did not conceive of Ninus as coming 
from, Mesopotamia to the conquest of Lydia, and establishing his 

* fiechercheSr Ac., Chronol. d*H6ro- 
dote, vol. i. p. 419. 

1 In Diod. Sic. ii. 2. 

s Book i ch. 96. 

' Ctesias inolndes amoDg the con- 
quests of Ninns, besides Lydia, the 
whole of Asia Minor, Armenia, Media, 
Snsiana, Persia, Babylonia, Ccelesyria, 
FhoBnicia, Egypt, and Bactria ! 

^ This point is discussed below, in 

the chapter * On the Ethnic Affinities 
of the Nations of Western Asia,' 
§ 6 and § 12. 

' See the Commentary on the Cnnei- 
form Inscriptions of Babylonia and 
Assyria, by Col. Bawlinson, published 
in 1851. 

• Herod, i. 7. iraph rolrrwv 84 'Hpa- 
kXcTScu itriTfuupedyrfs tffx^if r^P ^X^^ 
iK Btorpowlov, Compare ch. 13. 

E88AT L 



son Agron there as king in his room. On the whole, it must be 
concluded that the remarkable genealogy — ^Hercules, AIcsbhs, Belna, 
Ninns, Agron — contains no atom of truth or meaning, and was the 
clumsy invention of a Lydian, bent on glorifying the ancient kings 
of his country, by claiming for them a connexion with the mightiest 
of the heroes both of ALsia and of Greece. 

8. The meagre account which Herodotus proceeds to g^ve of his 
second Lydian dynasty presents but few opportunities for remark 
or criticism. Agron, according to him, was followed by a series of 
twenty-one kings, each the son of his predecessor, whose names, 
except the last two, he omits to mention, and whose united reigns 
made up a period of five hundred and five years. On what data 
this calculation was based it is impossible to say. The manifest 
inconsistency of the years with the generations has been observed 
by many writers ; '^ and Larcher, in his translation, went so far as to 
change the number of generations from twenty-two to fifteen ; but 
it seems better to leave the discrepancy, one proof among many 
of the extreme uncertainty of this early history. Of Myrsus,® the 
last king but one, and Candaules, the last king of this dynasty, 
whom the Ghreeks called Myrsilus,® Herodotus relates nothing 
except the tale concerning the destruction of the latter, for which 
he appears to have been indebted to the Parian poet Archilochus.^ 

9. It is probable that the Lydiaca of Xanthus, had they escaped 
the ravages of time, would have in a great measure filled up the 
blanks left by Herodotus, in this, if not even in the preceding 
period. But it may be questioned whether history would have 
been greatly the gainer, if we may take the fragments of Xanthus 
which remain as fair samples of the general tenor of his narrative. 

' Larcher (note 25 on Herod, book 
i.), Dahhnann (Herod, p. 99), Volney 
(Snppl. k VHerod. de Larcher), B&hr 
(Heorod. vol. i. p. 23). 

^ It has not always been observed 
that Myrsns must, by the narrative of 
Herodotus, have been king. Eusebius 
places Meles immediately before 
Candaules (Chron. Canon, part ii. 01. 
13, 2). Mr. Groto appears to regard 
Myrsns as a Greek, not a Lydian, 
i^pellative, when he thus expresses 
himself : — " The twenty-second prince 
of this family was Candaules, called by 
the Qreek$ Myrtilus, the son o/Myrsw,'* 

(Hist, of Greece, vol. iii. p. 296). 
Herodotus says twice over, ** Can- 
daules was the son of Myrsus ; " and 
adds, " by the Greeks he was called 

* A curious patronymic, bnb analo- 
gous in a great measure to the Latin 
forms, Servius, Servihus; Manias, 
Manilius ; Quinctius, Quinctilius, &o., 
seeming to show that the I of the 
Latin filius was not altogether un- 
known to the inhabitants of the 
western Asiatic coast. 

1 Herod, i. 12, end. 



App. Book I. 

Xanthos told of a King Gambles, Gambes, or Gamblitas, of so 
ravenous an appetite, that one night, wben lie was asleep, he ate his 
wife, and in the morning found nothing left of her but her hand, 
which remained in his mouth. Horrified at his own act, he drew 
his sword and slew himself.' Xanthus told also of another king, 
Aciamus, who by his general Ascalus, made war in Syria, and 
founded Ascalon.^ If such were the staple of his history, we need 
not greatly regret its loss.^ 

10. One conclusion may be drawn alike from the silence of the 
foreign, and the fictions of the native historian — that the Lydians 
of the fifth century B.c. possessed no authentic information con- 
cerning their ancestors further back than the time of Qyges, the 
first king of the race called MemmadsB. From this we may derive, 
as a corollary, the further consequence of the insignificance of 

* This passage is preserved bj 
Athenssas (x. 8, p. 17). 

' Xanth. ap. Steph. Byz. in voo. *A<r- 
Kdkȴ, AsoEdon, be it remembered, 
was an important town at the coming 
of the Israelites into the H0I7 Land 
(Jndg. i 18). That a Lydian army 
ever proceeded eastward of the Halys 
before the time of Grcesus is in the 
highest degree improbable. Ascalon 
was nndoubtedly one of the most 
ancient cities of the Philistines. It 
may be to the account given by Xan. 
thus of this distant expedition that 
we owe the narrative in Athenssas 
(viii. 87, p. 277) of the drowning of 
Atergatis or Deroeto, the Syrian 
Tenns, in a lake near Ascalon by 
Mopsns, a Lydian. 

^ Nicolas of Damascus, in one of his 
recently discovered fragments (Frag. 
Hist. Gr. vol. iii. pp. 880-6), professes 
to g^ve something like a complete 
account of the later kings of the 
second dynasty. He traces the line 
of descent through five monarchs to 
the king slain by Gygos, whom, in. 
stead of Candanlos, he calls Sadyattes. 
These five monarchs are Adyattes, 
Ardys, Adyattes II., Meles, and Myr- 
BUS. In the order, and in the names 
of four of these, Adyattes, Ardys, 
Adyattes II., and Meles, he nearly 
agrees with Eusebius, who g^ves 
"Ardysus Alyattee, annis 36} Aly- 

attes, annis 14; Meles, annis 12" 
(Chron. Can. part i. c. xv.), as the 
immediate predecessors of Candaules. 
In the fifth name he agrees with 
Herodotus, from whom Eusebius 
differs, since he entirely omits Myr- 
sus. These coincidences seem to 
entitle the list to some consideration. 
It may possibly have come from Xan- 
thus, or from Dionysius of Mytilene, 
who wrote histories in Xauathus's 
name (Athen. xii. xi. p. 415). The 
following is the genealogical tree 
according to this authority : — 


Cadys. Ardys. 

Adyattes II. 
Sadyattes = CandAoles. 

Only a few facts are narrated of 
these kings in the fragment. It is 
chiefly occupied with an account of 
the feud between the Heraclidas and 
the Mermnadse, which will be spoken 
of hereafter, and with a long story- 
concerning Ardys, how he lost his 
crown and recovered it, and reigned 
70 years, and was the best of all the 
Lydian kings next to Alcimius. 




Ljdia in times anterior to his date. Previonslj to the accession of 
the last dynasty, Lydia was, it is probable, but one out of the many 
petty states or kingdoms into which Lower Asia was parcelled ont, 
and was far from being the most important of the number. Lycia, 
which gave kings to the Greek colonies npon the coast,^ and 
maintained its independence even against Croesus,^ must have been 
at least as powerful, and the really predominant state was the 
central kingdom of the Phrygians, who exercised a greater influence 
oyer the Greeks of the coast than any other of the Asiatic peoples 
with whom they came in contact, '^ and whose kings were the first of 
all foreigners to send offerings to the oracle at Delphi.® Lydia, 
until the time of Gyges, was a petty state which made no conquests, 
and exercised but little influence beyond its borders. 

11. Concerning the destruction of Candaules, the last king of the 
second dynasty, and the accession of Gyges, the first king of the 
third, several very different legends appear to have been current. 
One is found related at length in Herodotus, another in Nicolas of 
Damascus, a third in Plato.^ In all, amid the greatest diversity of 
circumstantials, what may be called the historic outline is the same. 
Gyges, a subject of the Lydian king, conspires against him, destroys 
him in his palace, obtains the throne, and becomes the husband of 
the queen.^ These data seem to have furnished materials to the 

*Herod. i. 147. « Ibid. c. 28. 

7 See, for proofs of this, Grote's 
History of Greece, part ii. ch. xvi. 
(vol. iii.pp. 284-291). 

8 Herod, i. 14. 

•Eepub. ii. § 8. Mr. Grote well 
snins np this legend : — ** According to 
the legend in Plato, Gjges is a mere 
herdsman of the king of Lydia : after 
a terrible storm and earthquake, he 
sees near him a chasm in the earth, 
into which he descends and finds a 
vast horse of brass, hollow and partly 
open, wherein there lies a gigantic 
corpse with a golden ring. This ring 
he carries away, and discovers un- 
expectedly that it possesses the mira- 
cnlons property of rendering him 
invisible at pleasure. Being sent on 
a message to the king, he makes the 
magic ring available to his ambition; 
he first {)ossesse8 himself of the person 
of the queen, then with her aid as- 
■dssinates the king, and finally seizes 

the sceptre." — History of Greece, vol. 
iii. p. 298. 

^ The legends of Plato and Herodo- 
tus agree yet further, that it was with 
the connivance of the queen, and by 
her favour, that the assassination took 
place. Nicolas, however, represents 
the queen as indignsmt at the ad- 
vances of Gyges, and as complaining 
to her husband of his insolence. In 
other respects the narrative of Nicolas 
is more consistent than Plato's with 
Herodotus. Gyges is one of the king's 
body-guard, and a special favourite. 
The peculia/r feature of the tale in 
Nicolas is, that it exhibits the retri. 
butive principle as pervading the 
whole history, and accountSf as it 
were, for the curious declaration of 
the oracle, "Vengeance shall come 
for the Heraclides in the person of the 
fifth descendant from Gyges." The 
MormnadsD, we are told, were a family 
of distinction in the days of Ardyg, 



App. Book I. 

Greek poets of the existing or following times, which thej worked 
np into romances, embellishing them according to their ftmcj. 

The change of dynasty was not effected without a straggle. The 
HeraclidsB had their partisans, who took arms against the usurper, 
and showed themselves ready to maintain in the field the cause of 
their legitimate sovereigns. Gyges was unwilling to trost the 
event to the chance of a battle, and had address enough to obtain 
the consent of the malcontents to a reference, which, while it would 
prevent any effusion of blood, was unlikely to injure his pretensions.^ 
The Delphic oracle, now for the first time heard of in Lydian 
history, but already for some years an object of veneration to the 
purely Asiatic population of the peninsula,^ was chosen to be the 
arbiter of the dispute, and gave the verdict — ^which had, no doubt, 
been confidently anticipated by the ds facto king, when he consented 
to the reference — in &vour of the party in possession. The price of 
the reply was, perhaps, not settled beforehand, but at any rate 
it was paid ungrudgingly. Ooblets of gold, and various rich 
offerings in the same precious metal, besides silver ornaments, such 

Bon of Adjattes. Dasoylus, son of 
Gyges, was then chief favourite of the 
reigning king. JealooB of his in. 
flnenoe, and fearing for the saccession, 
Adyattes, son of Ardjs, secretly con- 
trived the assassination of Dascylns. 
Ardys, ignorant who was the morderer, 
laid heavy corses on him, whoever he 
might be, before the public assembly 
Qi the nation. This was the origin of 
the fend. For this crime, committed 
in the reign of Ardys, and nnpunished 
at the time, vengeance came in the 
penon of his fifth descendant. During 
the reigns of Adyattes II., Melos, and 
Myrsus, the feud continued, the de- 
scendants of Dasoylus living in exile. 
A vain attempt was made by Meles to 
expiate the sin, but it was not ac- 
cepted by the injured party. Moles 
went for three years into voluntary 
banishment, and Dascylus, the son of 
the murdered man, was invited to 
return, but ho refused. At length, in 
the fifth generation (Ardys, Ady- 
attes, Meles, Myrsus, Sadyattes), the 
vengeance came. Oyg^es, about to be 
put to death on account of the insult 
which he had ofFered to the virgin 

queen, whom he had been sent to 
conduct from the court of her father, 
Amossus, king of Mysia, recals the 
memory of his ancestral wrongs, and 
the curses of Ardys on his own race, 
collects a band of followers, enters 
the palace, and slays the monarch in 
his bridal-chamber. Then, when the 
reference is made to the oracle, the 
announcement falls with peculiar fit- 
ness : ** Vengeance shall come for the 
Heraclides in the person cf the fifth 

' Mr. Grote says, ** A civil war 
ensued, which both parties at length 
consented to terminate by reference 
to the Delphian oracle." But Hero- 
dotus implies that there was no actual 
war, the convention being made before 
the two parties came to blows. (its 
ol Aviol Htwhy iirottvyro rh Kay8a^A,c« 
xdOos, Kcd i y HxKoiffi ^aayf cw4- 
firi(ray dt re rov Tvym ffracriwreu Kcd 
ol Koiirol Au8o2, i. 13.) That the 
oracle was open to pecuniary influence 
is evidenced by Herodotus himself 
(v. 63, vi. 66). 

» Herod, i. 14. 




as no other indrndnal had presented to the days of Herodotns,^ 
attested the gratitude, or the honesty, of the snccessfol adventurer. 
12. The reign of Ojges is despatched bj Herodotus in a single 
sentence, valuable alike for what it contains and for what it 
excludes. We learn from it the important fact that this king 
engaged in war with the Greeks of the coast, who had hitherto, so 
i&r as we can gather from the scanty notices which remain to us, 
preserved friendly relations with the native inhabitants of the 
country on which they had planted their settlements.^ Like the 
Phoenicians in Spain and Africa, and our own countrymen for some 
considerable space of time in India and America, the early Greek 
settlers in Asia, engaged in commerce for the most part, appear to 
have been received with favour by the natives, and with few 
exceptions, to have maintained with them unbroken amity .^ Gyges 
vras the first to introduce a new policy. Jealous of the increasing 
power of the foreigners, who had occupied the whole line of coast, or 
simply ambitious of extending his dominion, he commenced hostili- 
ties against the lonians, ravaged the lands, and probably laid siege 
to the cities of Smyrna and Miletus, and even succeeded in capturing 
the town of Colophon.^ This, however, as Herodotus tells us 
in the same passage, was the utmost extent of his achievements.^ 

* Herod, i. 14. Tvyrfs rvpcu^viiffos 
a.x4ir€fi}^€ iu^oBiifjiara 4s A(\(povs ovk 
hxiya' dXX* Tiffa fihy itpyvpov avaB^fiara 
Kari ol xKfiara iv Afkipotffi' irdpt^ 
8i rod &py6pov, xp^criv itrhtro v — 
Koi KprirTJpfs ol ipiOfihy l| XP*'^**'* 

' The Greeks took Lycian kings 
(Herod, i. 147). The Lycians arc 
said to have taken even their name 
from a Greek (ibid. 173) . In most of 
the Greek towns the population seems 
to have been mixed, partly Greek, 
partly Asiatic. The best-evidenced 
case is that of Teos (Pausan. vii. iii. 
§ 3; Boeckh's Corp. Ins., No. 3064). 

• Of course the colonies were not 
originally established without blood- 
shed. (See Herod, i. 146 ; Mimnerm. 
ap. Strabon. xiv. p. 634, where the 
violence employed at the founding of 
Miletus and Colophon is noticed). 
But instances of their being attacked 
afterwards by the natives are exceed- 
ingly rare. The attack of the Cariana 

upon Priene, in which Androclus was 
slain, is perhaps the only recorded 
exception. This must be accounted 
for, partly by the sense which the 
natives entertained of the advantages 
they derived from the commerce of 
the Greek towns, partly by the readi- 
ness of the Greeks to intermix with 
the Asiatic tribes. 

7 I agree with Bahr on the sense of 
Herodotus in the passage itr^fiaXt fily 
uuu arparUiv is t€ M/Aijtov koI is 
"Z/jiipyriVy Koi Ko\o<puyos rh Surrv cfxc (i. 
14, end). The contrast is between the 
territories of Smyrna and Miletus, and 
the tovm itself of Colophon. In the 
construction M$a\f trrpaririy is Ml\i|- 
roVf the word Mi\fjrou can only stand 
for MiKfiffiriv. Mr. Grote seems to 
prefer the more usual explanation, 
that AffTv is the town, mintLS the cita- 
del (Hist, of Greece, vol. iii. p. 300). 

* Herod, i. 14. &W* oiSiv fitya fpyov 
&V avTov &Wo iyiytrOf fiouri\€^airroSf 





App. Book I. 

He did not, we may be snre, for the love of Magnes, attack 
either Magnesia, mnch less effect the capture of a second Grrecian 
city, or we should never have been told by Herodotus that, 
" besides taking Colophon, and making an inrcmd on Miletus and 
Smyrna, he did not perform a single noble exploit." * Neither is it 
possible that he could have possessed himself of the whole Troad, as 
Strabo affirms,^ or exercised such influence over the Milesians, as to 
have a voice in the establishment of their colonies. Affcer ages 
delighted to magnify the infancy of a dynasty, which attained in the 
end a degree of power and prosperity far beyond anght that had 
been seen before within the limits, or in the neighbourhood of 
Lower Asia, and loved to throw back to the hero-founder of the 
race the actions and the character of the most illustrious among his 

• Mr. Grote (Hist, of Grieeoe, vol. iii. 
p. 800) accepts as something more 
than myth the tale foond in Nicolas of 
DamasciiB) of the beautiful youth, 
Hagnes, whom Gyges loved, and who 
turned the heads of all the women 
wherever he went ; whom at last the 
men of Magnesia resolved to disgrace, 
and reduce to the level of common 
humanity, by disfiguring his counten- 
ance, and depriving him of his flowing 
looks: in revenge for which outrage 
on his favourite, the lover made war 
upon the offending city, and persevered 
until he took the place (Nic. Damasc. 
p. 52, Oroll.). But the expression of 
Herodotus, quoted above, seems to be 
conclusive against the authenticity of 
this history. Were it otherwise, the 
authority of Nicolaus Damascenus, un- 
supported by any corroborating testi- 
mony, is quite insufficient to entitle a 
narrative to belief. It is true that 
he was acquainted with the writings 
of Xanthus, and sometimes follows 
them without mentioning his authority, 
as in his account of the voracity and 
death of Gambles ; but it is also evi- 
dent that in many cases he cannot be 
following Xanthus. A writer who 
makes Sadyattes the son of &ii AlyatteSj 
who brings a Sihyl to the assistance of 
Croesus upon the pyre, and who ascribes 
the Persian respect for Zoroaster, and 
religious regard for the element of 
fire, to the circumstance of this mi- 

raculous escape of the Lydian king, is 
not to be quoted as authority, where 
he stands alone, without the strongest 
expression of distrust. At any rate, 
Mr. Grote seems open to the censure 
which he himself bestows on Ottfried 
Miiller, that he occasionally "gives 
* Sagen ' too much in the stvle of real 
facts '* (vol. iii. p. 240, note). 

1 Strabo, xiii. p. 690. 

* This tendency in all legendary his- 
tory to throw back and repeat events 
and circumstcuices has been noticed 
by Niebuhr in his Boman History, and 
is certainly one of the most striking 
characteristics of such records. As 
Bomulus is an earlier TuUus, and 
Ancus a second Numa, so even in more 
historic times we find the undoubted 
acts of the second Tarquin almost all 
anticipated in the first. As the later 
sovereign was certainly master of 
Latium, so the earlier must " subdue 
the whole Latin name " (Liv. i. 38) ; 
as he built the magnificent temple to 
Jupiter Capitolinus, so his progenitor 
and prototype must vow it and lay its 
foundations (ibid. 38 and 55) ; as the 
great sewers and the massive stone 
seats in the Circus Maximus were un- 
doubtedly the works of the one, so 
must thoy also, or works of a similar 
character, be ascribed to the other 
(ibid. 35 and 38). In the same way is 
assigned to Ninus the whole series of 
conquests made by subsequent Assy- 


In one respect, however, Gyges stands at a higher level than that 
at which any classical historian places him. He entered into rela* 
tions with distant powers, and was recognised as one of the great 
monarchs of the earth, both by Egypt and Assyria. It is rendered 
certain by the Assyrian inscriptions, that the Cimmerian ravages, 
which Herodotus assigpis to the reign of Ardys, began in his day ; 
and that, in order to protect himself, he called in the help of the 
great Assyrian monarch, Asshnr-bani-pal, and became, nominally at 
any rate, his vassal for a time. Daring this space he Was probably 
aided against his assailants by Assyrian troops, and through the 
help which they afforded was enabled to triumph over them. But 
his victory was fatal to him. Elated by his success, he threw off 
all sabjection to Assyria, and entered into alliance with Egypt, 
which had recently raised the standard of revolt under Psammeti- 
chus, and was bent on asserting its independence. Nor did he 
only conclude a treaty, but actually sent his troops, probably by 
sea, to Egypt, and took part in the war which was being waged 
between Asshur-bani-pal and his rebellious vassal. A just Nemesis, 
or a prudept exertion of his influence by the Assyrian monarch, 
avenged this act of ingratitude. The Cimmerian hordes once more 
entered his country in force; and, to check their advance, he 
was conipelled to venture an engagement. The invaders were 
victorious. Gyges was defeated in a great battle, and fell in the 
fight. The Cimmerians swept his country from end to end, but, as 
usual with them, effected no permanent conquest; it was their 
ordinary practice to quit a territory after they had exhausted it, 
and carry their arms into some more tempting region. 

13. Ardys, the son and successor of Gyges, is said by the As- 
syrians to have commenced his reign with a removal of the vassal- 
age, which his father had first accepted and then thrown off. It is 
probable that the subjection was merely nominal, since Assyria was 
too distant to exercise any real power in Lydia, and the communica- 
tion between the two appears to have been only by sea. Ardys, 
according to Herodotus, reigned within a year of half a century.* 
Besides his submission to Assyria, two facts only are recorded of 

rian kmgs (Ctesias ap. Diod. Sic. ii. 2). 
Sometimes an entire war is repeated, 
as that with Fidenee in the fourth book 
of Livy (Niebnhr, vol. i. p. 452). 
Possibly the war between Spfirta and 
Messenia is a case in point. Almost 

VOL. I. 2 A 

all the events of what is called the 
first war recur in the second. 

* Eusebius, with more probability, 
limited his reign to 38 years (Chron. 
Canon. Pars Post. p. 325, ed. Mai), 



App. Book L 

him ; but tbej aro important, as showing that he inherited from liis 
father that line of aggressive policy which became the settled 
system of the Mermnad princes, and which was particularly directed 
against the Greek cities of the coast. He renewed the attack upon 
Miletus, and took the town of Priene.* Probably he would have 
signalised his reign by further successes, but for a renewed attack 
on the part of the Cimmerians, who once more entered Asia Minor 
in force, and carried fire and sword over the greater portion of the 

14. Who the Cimmerians were, whence they came, with what 
races they were ethnically connected, will be considered hereafter, 
in the notes to the Fourth Book. "With regard to their occupation 
of Asia Minor at this time, it is important to observe, that whereas 
Herodotus, throughout his whole history,^ regards the invasion in 
the reign of Ardys as the first, and indeed the only Cimmerian 
irruption into these countries, other writers speak of repeated 
attacks, covering a long period of time, in which moreover the 
Cimmerians were accompanied and assisted by Thracian tribes, and 
came into Asia Minor, apparently, from the west rather the east. 
Strabo expressly states that they made several distinct incursions,® 
and seemingly brings them into Asia across the Thracian Bosphorus 
To some of these incursions he gives a high antiquity.^ In this he 
is followed or exceeded by Eusebius, who places the first Cimmerian 

* Herod, i. 15. I know not on what 
g^rounds Mr. Groto obseryes that "this 
possession cannot hare been main- 
tained, for the city appears afterwards 
as autonomous " (Hist, of Greece, vol. 
iii. p. 801), unless it be on the expres- 
sion of Herodotus, that "before the 
Bovereigntj of Croesus all the Greeks 
were free V (i. 6). But this only seems 
to mean that no Greek country — 
neither Ionia, ^olis, nor Doris — had 
been reduced to subjection. 

Hr. Grote has another mysterious 
remark in the next sentence of his 
work. " His (Ardys*) long reign was 
sig^nalised by two events, both of con- 
siderable moment to the AJsiatic Greeks, 
— the invasion of the Cimmerians, and 
the first approach to collision (at least 
the first of which we have any histori- 
cal knowledge) between the inhabitants 
of Lydia and those of Upper Asia under 
the Median Icings:' What is this ** first 

approach to collision " in the reign of 
Ardys? The collision came, as ho 
notices a few pages after (p. 310), in 
tho time of Alyattes, grandson of 
Ardys. What *' historical knowledge *' 
have we of any collision, or "approach 
to collision," earlier than this ? 

» Herod, i. 6, 15, 16, 103 j iv. 1, 11, 
12 ; vii. 20. 

« Strab. i. p. 90 (Oxf. ed.). oT rt Kt/i- 
fi^pioi, ots Koi Tp^pvyas 6yofJLd(ov<rufj 1l 
iKtiycffy Ti KOyos, voWdKis ht^pafxot^ 
rit, 8(|t& fi^pTi rov Hoyrov, koI rh, (fvytxyi 
auTots, irori n^y M Ila^Aaye^yaf, vorh 
8^ Kol *p6yas ififiaK6yT€S. 

7 Strab. i. p. 9 (Oxf. ed.). ol Ki/i- 
fifpioi Ka6^ "OfjLTipoy fj fitKphy vph 
a if rov fi^xpis *I«v(ay hri^pa^y r^y 
yiiy r^y iK Bo0'ir6pov iratray. And 
again, iii. p. 200 : ko6^ "Ofiripoy ^ vpb 
aurov fiucphy Kiyovai r^y r&y Kifififplofy 
t^Zov ytyMau r&y (1. t^v) /a^XP' ^» 
AloXiios KM TTJs *lo9ylas. 

Essay L 



invasion of Asia three hundred years before the first Olympiad 
(B.C. 1076).^ The silence of Herodotns, and still more the way in 
which he speaks, on. first mentioning the subject, of the Cimmerian 
incnrsion,^ are weighty arguments against those who hold that there 
were a long series of such attacks, covering, without any consider* 
able intervals, a space of two hundred and sixty years.^ Still it 
would be rash to reject altogether the distinct assertions of Strabo, 
confirmed as they are by the fact, of which there is ample evidence,' 
that in the minds of the Greeks upon the coast, Cimmerians and 
Treres were confounded together, which can only be accounted for 
on the supposition of invasions in which both people took part. 
The Cimmerians, who before their country was wrested from them 
by the Scythian nomads, were neighbours of the Thracians, may 
well have joined with them in plundering expeditions from time to 
time, and may have been in the habit of passing into Asia by the 
Thracian Bosphoras. But from all these occasional incursions, 
which Herodotus may have regarded as Thra<nan, not Cimme- 
rian ravages, the great Cimmerian invasion, of which he so often 
speaks, is to be distinguished. In this, if it came, according to the 
undoubting conviction of our author, from the east, no Thracians 
would participate.^ It would have a right to be called " the Cim- 

« Chron. Canon. Para Poet. (p. 303, 
ed. Mai). 

' Herod, i. 6. vph 8i rrjf Kpotaov 
ipX^f irdrrcs 'EAA^vcs liaoM i\f60€p ot. 
r h ykp Kinfitplvy <rrpdrtvfiarh 
iw\ tV 'laWcw airuc6ij.€yoy — oh Kara- 
irrpo^ iy4yero ruy ToKloty, iXX* ^| ^irj- 
9pofiiis kpwarffi. 

^ Clinton's Fasti Hell. vol. i. p. 214. 
01. 40, 4. 

' The contemporary poet, Callinos, 
spoke both of Treres and of Cimmerians 
(Strabo, xiv. p. 927, Oxf. ed.). Callis- 
thenes said that the Treres and Lycians 
took Sardis (Strab. xiii. p. 627). 
Strabo, in a passage quoted above, 
uses the words, Kififitplovs, ots Kcd Tp4\. 
ptfyas 6yofJid(owriy, Cf . also Eostath. ad. 
Horn. Od. xi. 14. 

' I cannot accept Niebuhr's theory, 
that the Cimmerians on this occasion 
came by the western side of the 
Eoxine, and across the Thracian Bos. 
phomi^ against the distinct and re- 
peated declarations of Herodotus. It 

seems to me impossible that the direc- 
tion in which the enemj came should 
have been forgotten by the people of 
the country, even in the space of two 
hundred yeara; especially as there 
were contemporary writers, Calb'pus, 
Archilochus, and othera, some of whom, 
we know, spoke of the Cimmerian 
attack. With regard to the alleged 
difficulties of the route, we may grant 
the impracticability of the coast line, 
between the western edge of the Cau- 
casus and the Euxine ; but why may 
we not suppose the Cimmerians to 
have entered Asia by the Caucasian 
gates, through which the great mill* 
tary road now runs from Mosdok to 
Tiflis ? This must always have been 
a very practicable route, and was pro- 
bably that followed by Mithridates 
when he passed through the jcAci9pa 
:iKvdo»y on his flight from Pompey 
(Appian. de Bell. Mithr. p. 400). 
With respect to the passage of the 
Cimmerian Bosphorus, it must be te* 



App. Book I. 

rnerian attack." It would be a thing sui generis. The Greeks in 
general, long accustomed to confound Treres and Cimmerians, miglit 
speak, according to habit, of both as having been concerned in this, 
as well as in other inroads;* but an accurate writer, like Hero- 
dotus, whose inquiries had convinced him that these Cimmerians 
entered Asia Minor from the Caucasus, would know that here there 
was no place for Treres, who lay so far out of the route, and that 
however true it might be that Cimmerians had at other times joined 
in the forays of the Treres in Asia, yet on no other occasion had 
there been a purely Cimmerian inroad, and he would therefore be 
perfectly correct in speaking of this as *' the invasion of the Cim- 

The Cimmerians were fugitives driven out of their native country 
by the Scythians, but not the less formidable on that account. 
Niebuhr surmises that the Gauls who sacked Rome and overran 
Italy, were fugitives from the Spanish peninsula, retiring before 
the increasing strength of the Iberian race.^ The barbarians who 
destroyed the Western Empire had for the most part been dispos- 
sessed of their own countries by nations of superior strength. We 
have seen that already, in the reign of Gyges, the Cimmerians had 
been engaged in hostilities against Lydia, and had gained at least 
one great battle. It would seem, however, that in the reign of 
Ardys they made another and still more successful invasion. On 
this occasion they appear to have swept before them all resistance. 
Like the bands of Gauls,^ which at a later date ravaged these same 
regions in the same ruthless way, the Cimmerian invaders carried 
ruin and devastation over all the fairest regions of Lower Asia. 
F^phlagonia, Bithynia, Ionia, Phrygia, even Cilicia, as well as 
Lydia, wore plundered and laid waste ; in Phrygia, Midas, the king, 
despairing of any effectual resistance, on the approach of the 
dreaded foe, is said to have committed suicide ; ^ in Lydia, as we 
know from Herodotus, they took the capital city, except only the 

membercd that waggoDS could always 
cross in winter npon the ice (Herod 
iv. 28). 

' ^ Callinus appears to have done bo 
(Strabo, 1. s. c). 

• History of Rome, vol. i. pp. 506- 
609 (Engl, transl.). 

• • Livy, xxxTiii. 16. It will appear 
hereafter that these two gretkt inva- 

sions of Asia Minor proceeded from the 
same identical race. (See Appendix 
to book iv. ch. i. * On the Cimmerians 
of Herodotus and the Migrations of the 
Cymric Race.') 

7 Enstath. ad Hom. Od. xi. 14. This 
is the event alluded to in Euseb. 
Chron. Can. Pars Post. 01. 21, 2 (p. 
824), and by Strabo, L p. 90 (Orf. ed.). 

Essay L 



acropolis ; in Ionia tbej ravaged the vallej of the Cayster, besieged 
Ephesns, and, according to some accounts, burnt the temple of 
Diana in its vicinity;® after which they are thought to have 
proceeded southward into the plain of the Meeander, and to have 
sacked the city of Magnesia.® One body, under a leader whom the 
Greeks called Lygdamis, even penetrated as far as Cilicia, and there 
sustained a terrible reverse at the hands of the hardy mountaineers.'^ 
The Grreeks regarded this as the vengeance of Artemis ; ^ for Lyg- 
damis had been the leader in the attack on Ephesus. Still the 
strength of the invaders was not broken by this defeat. It was only 
in the third generation that the Lydian princes were able to expel 
them from the territories under their dominion. Even then, it is a 
mistake to say that they were driven out of Asia.^ Just as the 

* Hesych. in voc. At^Sofit;. At^dofitr 
ovros KKcsuat rhy vahy rrjs 'Aprifu^os, 
The well-known passage in Callima- 
chns's Hymn to Diana (ver. 251.261) 
has thxx>wn some doabt on this. It 
seems, however, qnite conceivable that 
a poet, whose sabject was the praise 
of Diana, shonld ignore, without deny- 
ing, so nnpleasant a fact. Callimachns 
may even be understood in the sense 
adopted by Bouhier : ** Callimaquo a 
pretenda que ce fut en punition du 
sacrilege qu'ils avaient commis en 
mettant le feu au temple do Diane." 
(Dissertations, &c. ch. vi. p. 56.) That 
the Cimmerians excited the hatred of 
the lonians by the plunder of their 
temples, wajs attested, accoi*ding to 
Eustathius (Comment, ad Hom. Od. 
xi. 14) by many writers. If they in- 
vested Ephesus, as we should certainly 
gather from Callimachus, they could 
scarcely fail to take the temple, which 
was nearly a mile from the city 
(Herod, i. 26). Mr. Qrote supposes 
that " the Goddess protected her town 
and sanctuaTry " (Hist, of Greece, voL 
iii. p. 335). But he rests this only on 
the passage of Callimachus, which is 
at least ambiguous. Spanheim (Com- 
ment, ad Callimach. Hymn. v. 251-260, 
in the edition of Emesti, vol* ii. p. 
354) regards Herod, i. 6 as conclusive 
against Hesychius, where he certainly 
must forget the situation of the 

• It is very doubtful whether this event 
really belongs to the great Cimmerian 

invasion. Eustathius appears to have 
thought so. Tuy Kiixixfpioty &r6/iotpa 
Kiytrcu Tort (Tfnipts S4 tpaxriy iKoKovyrd) 
iroW^y rris ^Aalas Kara^pofjitiy, icoi ria 
"Zapitts iKuy ica2 ruy Mayyfirwy 9k 
iroWohs dycAciv roiy Korit rhy Maiay9poy 
//x/9({aAc(V 8i Koi M Ucup\ay6yas icol 
*p^ar 5t€ Kcd Ml^as Kiytrai oT/m 
radpov irtiiy us rh XP*^^ &ircX9c<V. 
(Conmient. ad Hom. Od. 1. c. s.) But 
if Callinus was contemporary with the 
taking of Sardis mentioned by Hero- 
dotus, as I agree with Mr. Grote in 
considering to be nearly certain (Hist, 
of Greece, vol. iii. p. 333, note *), the fall 
of Magnesia must, on the authorities 
of Strabo (xiv. p. 928) and Clemens 
Alex. (Strom, i. p. 333), have been 
subsequent. To me also the fact that 
the sack of Magnesia is so uniformly 
ascribed to the Treres, is a strong argu- 
ment that it does not belong to this in- 
vasion of the Cimmerians. (Cf . Eustath. 
in loc. s. c, and Strab. xiv. p. 927.) 

* Strabo, i. p. 90. 

« Callim. Hymn, ad Dian. 218-260. 

T^ pa Kal nXaiVwy aXawaC^M*" >.irei\ri<f* 

'Hyaye Ki/i/Lie/>iwv, ^a/Lia(^fi laovt oi pawap airuv 
KeKXijUtvoi vaiovat fioov rropov 'IfaX'uviic. 
*A dciXoc fiaaiXittv ovov nXittv' ov yap ifxtWtV 
Out ouTor Ixv9itiv6« waXifjiirtTtti oure rtt AXXot 
"Otrtrotv h \tifxt»vi Kcuivrpiif l^vrav a^a|ai» 
NoaT^ffeiv* 'Eiptaov yap ue< rea rof o npoKttrai* 

^ KifiiMtplovs iK rrjs *A(r(ar i^Xturt 
(Herod, i. 15). As Lydia was still 
confined within its original limits, a 
Lydian prince would have neither the 



Ap? . Book I. 

Gallic maranders of later times, when the chances of war turned 
against them, found a refuge in the strong position called thence- 
forth Galatia, bo their kindred, the Cimmerians, long after the time 
of their expulsion from Lydia by Alyattes, maintained themselves 
in certain strongholds, as Antandrus, which, according to Aristotle,^ 
they occupied for a hundred years, and Sinope, where, Herodotus 
informs us, they made a permanent settlement.^ 

15. The history of Lydia during the time of their supremacy was 
almost a blank. At what period in the long reign of Ardys they 
took Sardis there is indeed nothing positively to show. The syn- 
chronism dependent upon the notion of their having hecn pursued 
by the Scythians, who are said to have entered Media early in the 
reign of Cyaxares, is extremely doubtful from the improbability of 
the supposed fact. The utmost that can be gathered from it is that 
the great Cimmerian invasion was regarded by Herodotus as only a 
little preceding the accession of Cyaxares (b.c. 633), which would 
make it fall late in the reign of Ardys. At any rate, we may be 
sure that it followed in fact, as it does in the order of the narrative 
in Herodotus,® both the capture of Priene by Ardys, and his attack 
upon Miletus. Still its date cannot be fixed within a quarter of a 
century. Sadyattes, the son and successor of Ardys, appears, 
during the earlier portion of his reign, to have remained in tho 
same state of inaction which had characterised the later years of 
his father's rule. Probably it required all the energies of both 
monarch and people to protect the kingdom against the Cimmerian 
ravages. We may gather, however, from what is recorded of this 
king, that towards the close of his reign the power of the Cim- 
merians began to decline, and Lydia became once more free to 
pursue her policy of aggression. Sadyattes renewed the war with 
Miletus in the seventh year of his reign, and carried it on until his 
death. Whether either of the great victories mentioned by Hero- 
dotus ^ were gained by him, it is impossible to determine. All that 
we know is that he did not bring the war to a close, but bequeathed 

wish nor the power to do this. There 
18 also distinct proof that they con- 
tinned in possession of parts of Asia. 
See the following notes. 

* Ap. Steph. Byz. in voo. "Amayipos. 
*Apurror^X.fls ^<r\ rairfiy itvofjidarBai . . . 
KijM/Mp^Sa, Ktfifitpttey iyoiKO^vrwy ixarhy 

* Herod, iv. 12. ^tdyorrai 8i ol Ki/i- 
fifptoi ^€iyoyT€S is TTJy 'Aclriy roht 
'XKiiOaSt Ktd rrjy X€p0'6yriffoy Krlffoifrts^ 
iy Tf yvy 'XofAin) ir^Xis 'EAA&f oXictarrcu, 

« Horod. i. 15. 

^ Ibid. 18. rp^fwra fitydXa Bi^daia 
Mi\ri<r(vy i'y4vtro. 




it to his successor npon the throne, his son bj his own sister,* 

IG. This prince, the most celebrated of his honse except Croesns, 
is said by Herodotns to have bent his whole energies to the prose- 
cation of this war during the first six years of his reign. The 
circumstances of the contest, which Herodotus relates at length,® 
and on which no other ancient writer throws any additional light, 
need not be here repeated. The designs of Alyattes were baffled, 
and Miletus, the foremost city of Asiatic Greece, which had been 
attacked in succession by every monarch of the house of the 
Mermnada?, succeeded in maintaining her independence for half a 
century longer. 

The order of the other events of the reign of Alyattes cannot 
be determined with any certainty. Besides his war with Miletus, 
he vras engaged (we know) in four separate contests. He drove the 
Cimmerians beyond his boundaries, attacked and took Smyrna, 
made an attempt upon Clazomenea, but was defeated with great loss, 
and carried on a protracted contest against the combined powers of 
Media and Babylonia. He is also said to have invaded Caria, but 
by a writer who, unless where we have good reason to believe he is 
following Xanthus, is of no authority.* This last war, if it took 
place at all, happened late in his reign, after Croesus was grown 
to manhood.^ The date of the struggle with the Medes depends on 
that of the eclipse of T hales, which is still undetermined.' Perhaps 

• Here the authority of Nicolas of 
Damascns is supported by that of 
Siudas (in voc. *A\udrrris) and Xeno- 
philas (ap. Anon., quoted in the Frag. 
Hist. Gr., vol. i. p. 42). Marriages 
with ^alZ-sisters have been frequent 
• in the East from the days of Abraham 
downwards. The cases of Abraham 
himself (Gen. zx. 12; there is no 
evidence to show that Sarah was Iscah, 
as assumed by Clinton, F. H. vol. i. 
App. ch. V. p. 290, note), of Cambyses 
(Herod, iii. 31), and Herod Agrippa 
(Juv. vi. 157) are well known. 

» Herod, i. 17-22. Mr. Grote says 
that Sadyattes carried on this war for 
seven, and Alyattes for five years ; but 
Herodotus divides the war as above. 
iiroK^fift trta €v8cira . . . . t& fi^y yvy 
c| Itrta rSav tvZfKa 'Zajliv6.rr'i\s b "hp^vos 

Kavra is r^y MtKriciriy r^y arpartriy rit 
8i iriyrt rSoy irioiy rk iir6ti€ya rotffi c{ 
*K\v6.Trris 4TroK4fi(€ . . . . r^ 8i 8v»8c- 
Kdr^ 4r(i, K. r. A.. 

^ Nicolas of Damascus. The qnes. 
tion of his credibility has been treated 
above (p. 352, note^). 

* Croesus in the tale is represented 
as already governor of Theb^ and 
Adramyttium. As he was only thirty- 
five years of age at his father's death 
(Herod, i. 26) the Carian war of 
Alyattes, if a reality, must belong to 
the last ten or twelve years of his life. 
Mr. Grote well observes, against Clin, 
ton, that there is nothing in Nicolaos 
Damascenus to imply that Alyattes 
conquered Caria. (Nic. Dam. p. 53, ed. 
Orelli ; Clinton's F. H. vol. ii. p. 368 ; 
Crete's Hist. vol. ii. p. 343.) 

' Yolney* considered the ecb'pse to 



App. Book X. 

the most probable date is that which has been adopted by Mr. 
CKnton, viz. B.C. 608-613. The other wars, that which ended in the 
expulsion of the Cimmerians, and those with the Greeks of the coast, 
may have taken place either before or after the Median contest. 

17. This last event, beyond all question the most important in the 
reign of Alyattes, is regarded by Herodotus as brought about by 
what appears an insignificant cause. A band of Scythians, who had 
been in the service of Cyaxares, the Median king, upon a disgust 
quitted Media, and took refuge with Alyattes. Cyaxares demanded 
the surrender of the fugitives and met with a refusal, upon which 
he declared war against Lydia, and the contest began. Now 
although undoubtedly the passage of nomadic hordes from one 
government in the East to another has frequently been the occasion 
of war between adjoining states,* yet the flight of a mere hand of 
men (ciXiy uv^pwv) who had been useful as hunters, would scarcely 
have been motive sufficient to produce the invasion of a kingdom 
not even adjoining, but separated from the Median empire by 
the intervening country of Phrygia. It is besides exceedingly 
improbable that at this particular period there were any Scythians 
on such terms of friendly subjection to Cyaxares as the story 
supposes. Not long before the accession of Alyattes, Cyaxares had, 
we know, been engaged in a fierce struggle with Scythic hordes, 
and such of them as submitted to his sway must have felt them- 
selves under the yoke of an oppressor. A portion of his Scythic 
subjects may no doubt have revolted, and when hard pressed by his 
troops may have fled for protection to Alyattes, and have offered to 
take service with him. They may have been readily received, and 
Cyaxares may, on learning it, have demanded their surrender, 
and when the demand, was refused, have therenpon commenced 
hostilities. It is however very unlikely that this was the cause, 
although it may possibly have been the pretext, of the expedition. 
The Lydian war of Cyaxares was part undoubtedly of that great 

have taken place B.C. (525 (Recherches, 
Ac, vol. i. p. 312). Clinton places it 
B.C. 603 (F. H. vol. i. p. 419). Ideler 
considers that no eclipse about this 
period fulfils the necessary conditions 
ezoept that of B.C. 610 (Handbuch der 
Chronologie, vol. i. p. 209). Mr. Hind 
and Professor Airy have recently sug- 
gested the late date of B.C. 585 (Bosan- 
quet, Fall of Nineveh, p. 14). It may be 

doubted whether astronomical science 
has yet attained to such exactness with 
respect to the line of solar eclipses as 
to justify the adoption of its results as 
the basis of a chronological system. 

"* See Mr. Groto's History of Greece, 
vol. iii. p. 310. In a note Mr. Groto 
brings forward a number of modem 

■Essay L 



monarch's system of conqnest, which carried him afc one time to the 
confines of Babylonia, at another to the shores of the Egean. The 
enterprising prince, who had snbverted the old Assyrian monarchy, 
and had then by a series of victories bronght nnder subjection the 
whole of Upper Asia as far as the banks of the Halys,* might well 
conceive the design of adding to his empire the further tract of 
country between the Halys and the Egean sea. What alone excites 
our wonderment in this portion of history is his failure. The war 
continued for six years, and in the course of it we are told, "the 
Medes gained many victories over the Lydians, and the hydians 
also gained many victories over the Medes ^^ And the advantage 
remained with neither side. Considering the extent and power 
of the Median empire at this period — that it contained, besides 
Media Magna and Media Atropatene, the extensive and important 
countries of Persia, Assyria, Armenia, and Cappadocia — ^reaching 
thus from the mouth of the Persian Gulf to the shores of the 
Euxine — ^it seems extraordinary that the petty kingdom of Lydia 
could so successfully maintain the contest. The wonder is increased 
if we take into consideration the probability, almost amounting to 

. a certainty, that the armies of the Babylonians accompanied 
Cyaxares to the field.^ That Lydia maintained her independence 
and terminated the war by an honourable peace, can only be 
accounted for by supposing that as the attack menaced the whole 
of Western Asia, the several nations who felt themselves endangered 
made common cause and united under a single head. And an indi« 
cation of this union of the Western Asiatics against the ambition 

of the Medes is found in the fact that the king of the warlike and 
powerful Cilicia, which maintained its independence even against 
Croesus, appears in the narrative standing in the same relation 
towards Alyattes in which Labynetus, the Babylonian monarch, 
stands towards Cyaxares — the relation of subordinate ally. It 
is probable that both Labynetus and the Cilician prince were 
present at the engagement, and took immediate advantage of the 
religious dread inspired by the eclipse to effect a reconciliation 

» Herod, i. 103. « Ibid. i. 74. 

' I cannot conceive it possible that 
« monarch, whose dominions lay a thou- 
sand miles off, would have felt him- 
self safficientlj interested in the result 
of a contest in so remote a region, to 
interpose his mediation between the 
courts of Sardis and Ecbatona in the 

modem diplomatic sense of the phrase. 
The words of Herodotus (i. 74) are 
ambiguous, but I conceive we are to 
understand an immediate mediation 
upon the spot, implying the presence 
of the two princes, and their participa- 
tion in the previous strife. 


of tlio principals in the contest. The interposition of good offices 
bj great powers at a distance from the scene, especially by 
powers so remote and so little connected with one another as Cilicia 
and Babylonia, at this period, is inconceiyable under the circxun- 
stances of the ancient world. Labynctus, at least, must have 
been npon the spot, and if so, then the presence of Syennesis seems 
to follow as a matter of course; and his presence would indicate the 
probable presence of the other minor powers of Western Asia, the 
Pamphylians, the Phrygians, the Lycians, the Carians — perhaps 
also the Paphlagonians and Bithynians, -whose liberties would 
certainly haye been more endangered by the success of the attack 
than those of the hardy and valiant occupants of the mountainous 
Cilicia, whom even Cyrus does not appear to have reduced to 
subjection. It seems therefore probable that fche invasion of Lydia 
by Cyaxares was but the continuation of his long course of aggres- 
sions upon his neighbours, and that whatever his pretext may have 
been, his real object in crossing the Halys was to add the whole 
of Lower Asia to his dominions. The warlike inhabitants united to 
resist him, and maintained for six years a doubtful and bloody 
struggle. At length, when both parties were growing weary of the . 
protracted contest, accident afforded an opportunity, of which 
advantage was taken, to bring the war to a close. The two armies 
had once more come to an engagement, when, in the midst of 
the fight, an eclipse of the sun took place. Alarmed at the portent, 
the soldiers saspended the conflict, and manifested an inclination 
for peace. Probably the leaders of both armies participated in the 
general sentiment. Under these circumstances, the principal com- 
manders of allied troops on either side came forward and proposed a 
reconciliation between the chief contending powers. The proposals 
were favourably entertained, and led not merely to the establish- 
ment of peace, but to an alliance between Media and Lydia, which 
was cemented by the marriage of a daughter of the Lydian prince 
with the heir-apparent to the Median monarchy. Henceforward 
friendly relations subsisted between the great powers of Asia until 
the ambition of Cyrus, half a century later, rekindled the strife. 

18. After the conclusion of this peace, Alyattes reigned, accord- 
ing to the chronology which we have preferred, thirty-five years. 
It may have been during these years that he drove the Cimmerians 
beyond his borders, and engaged in war with the Greeks of Smyrna 
and ClazomensB. The latter portion of his reign seems, however, to 

E88AT I. 



liave been a period of remarkable tranqnillity. The supposition 
that towards the close of his life he conquered ^olis and Caria,^ 
founded upon a single passage in Nicolas of Damascus, which does 
not even bear out the deductions made from it,' and contradicted 
by the express words of Herodotus, who ascribes these conquests to 
his son,* seems scarcely worth considering. We may grant it 
possible that there was an invasion of Caria about this time ; but 
oven that is in the highest degree uncertain. The probability is that 
Alyattes, now an aged man,' was chiefly employed in the construc- 
tion of his sepulchre, a work which Herodotus, who had seen it, 
compares for magnificence with the constructions of Egypt and 
Babylon,' and which must therefore, like those massive buildings, 
have employed the labour of the great bulk of the population for a 
number of years. If the measurements of Herodotus are accurate, 
and modem travellers appear to think that they do not greatly 
overstep the truth,* the tomb of Alyattes cannot have fallen far 

« Clinton's Fasti Hell., vol. ii.p.363. 
(Appendix, ch. xvii.) . 

* Nicolans Damascenns says that 
Croesus, who had already been made 
governor of Adramyttium and the plain 
of Theb^, accompanied his father in 
an expedition into Caria. From this 
Mr. Clinton makes two dednctionSi (1) 
that JEolis mnst have been already 
subjected j and (2) that Caria was con- 
quered in this campaign. The latter 
he calls an assertion of Damascenns, 
which is nntme (see Nic. Damas. ed. 
Orelli, pp. 55.57). The former pro- 
ceeds npon the notion that Adramyt- 
tiam and Theb^ were in JSolis, which 
is not the fact. They lay within the 
limits nsnally assigned to the province 
of Mysia (Bennell's Geography of 
Western Asia, vol. i. p. 371), but it 
seems probable that from a very early 
date they had formed a part of the 
dominions of the Lydian kings. The 
boundaries between the several pro- 
vinces of Asia Minor were at no time 
very exactly determined, and Adra- 
myttium seems to have been one of 
the most ancient of the Lydian towns. 
At least there were authors who as. 
cribed its foundation to an ancient 
king, Adramys or Hermon, probably 
the same person as the Adramytes of 

Xanthus (Frag. 19, Didot.) who must 
belong to the second, if not even to 
the first dynasty (see Steph. Byz. 
and Hesychius in voc. 'A^pa^iirrttoy), 
Aristotle certainly spoke of its having 
been founded by an Adramytes, son of 
Alyattes and brother of Croesus (Fr. 
191) ; but of this person, who cannot 
be the ancient King of Xanthus, we 
have no other mention in history. 
The very fact that Adramyttium is 
supposed to have a heros eponymus for 
its founder seems to throw back its 
foundation to very early times. 
1 Herod, i. 28. 

* If we allow Alyattes to have been 
twenty -one years old when he ascended 
the throne, he would be sixty-three in 
the year B.C. 583, the earliest date 
which the age of Creesus will allow us 
to fix for the expedition spoken of by 

« Herod, i. 93. 

* See Chandler's Travels, vol. i. p. 
304. ** The barrow of Alyattes is much 
tailor and handsomer than any I have 
seen in England. The mould which 
has been washed down conceals the 
stone-work, which, it seems, was an. 
ciently visible. The apparent altitude 
is diminished, and the bottom rendered 
wider and less distinct than before. 



App. Book I. 

short of the grandest of the Egyptian monuments. Its deficiency as 
respects size must have been in height, for the area of the base, 
which alone onr author's statements determine, is above one-third 
greater than that of the Pyramid of Cheops.* As, however, the 
construction was of earth and not of stone, a barrow and not a 
pyramid, it would undoubtedly have required a less amount of 
servile labour than the great works of Egypt, and would indicate a 
less degraded condition of the people who raised it than that of the 
Egyptians in the time of the pyramid-builders. Still the view of 
Strabo is most certainly correct, that " the multitude of the city '* 
must have been employed upon it.* It was an artificial mountain, 
and perhaps owed its small celebrity, as compared with the con- 
structions of Egypt and Babylonia, not so much to any absolute 
inferiority as to the character of the district in which it was placed. 
While the colossal works in those countries have the advantage 
of standing upon extensive plains, stretching out in all directions as 
far as the eye can reach, the Lydian monument is dwarfed by the 

Its meosureTnents, which we were not 
prepared to take, deserved to be ascer- 
tained and compared with those given 
in Herodotus." Mr. Hamilton savs: 
"One mile sooth of this 8]X)t we 
reached the principal tumulas gener- 
ally designated as the tomb of Haly- 
attes. It took us about ten minutes to 
ride round its base, which wouhi give 
it a circumference of nearly half a 

mile It rises at an angle of about 

22°, and is a conspicuous object on all 
sides." (Researches in Asia Minor, 
Ac., vol. i. pp. 145-6.) The more exact 
measurements of M. Spiegenthal agree 
remarkably with this rough estimate. 
(See note *, on book i. ch. 93.) 

• Dr. Chandler alters the measure- 
ments of Herodotus by a conjectural 
emendation of the text in the true 
spirit of a critic of the eighteenth cen- 
tury. He presumes that Herodotus 
would not have omitted the height of 
the monument : but our author, in 
default of any trustworthy information 
concerning the height, would be likely 
to contine himself to such points as 
came within his own observation. He 
could measure the greatest width and 
the circumference, but ho could only 
-have made a rough guess at the height. 

He therefore preferred to omit the 
height altogether — an omission which 
may be remarked also in his dimensions 
of the Temple of Belus. The measures 
which he gives are 3800 feet (Greek) 
for the circumference, and 1300 feet 
for the (greatest) diameter. From 
these proportions it would follow that 
the bai?e of the monument was not a 
circle, but either an ellipse or a paral- 
lelogram. In the latter case its area 
would have been 780,000 Tk^uare feet 
(Greek), whereas the area of the Great 
Pyramid of Gizeh is determined to be no 
more than 588,939 square feet (English). 
See Perring*s Diameters of the Pyra- 
mids of Egypt. But 688,939 square 
feet (English) are only equal to about 
574,56^1 square feet (Greek). So that 
the area of the Great Pyramid was to 
that of the sepulchre of Alyattes (sup- 
posing the base of the latter to have 
heen a parallelogram) in the proportion 
of (about) 19 to 26. If the base were 
oval or elliptical, the difference would 
be still more in favour of the Lydian 
monument. At present the base ap- 
pears to be, as nearly as possible, cir- 

• Strabo, xiii. p. 899. rb xKijBos TTJt 



towering monntain-chains which on both sides encompass the 
narrow valley of the Hermus. 

Engaged in this work/ the Ljdian king abstained in all proba- 
bility from warlike enterprises. The arts of war and peace rarely 
flourish together ; and the hands which, if he had engaged in wars, 
would have been required to draw the sword and pull the bow, were 
wanted for the homelier occupations of digging and wheeling soil. 
The expulsion of the Cimmerians and the alliance with the Medes 
had secured him from molestation on the part of those distant 
powers whose attacks might have been formidable ; the weakness of 
his neighbours allowed him to fear nothing from them. Not 
being naturally an ambitious prince, and having received but small 
encouragement from fortune in his attempts upon the independence 
of the Greek towns on the coast, Alyattes appears to have given 
himself up without reluctance to a life of inactivity. 

19. It has been supposed by some writers of high repute® that 
fifteen years before his decease Alyattes associated his son Croesus 
in the government ; but the chronological arguments on which this 
view is based are wholly inconclusive, and the direct evidence which 
is brought forward in its support signally fails of establishing any 
such conclusion. Herodotus, in the passage relied on by Mr. 
Clinton,' and understood in the same sense both by Bahr and Wes- 
seling, is not speaking of any such strange and unwonted event^ as 

' The snppoBition of Chandler that 
Crcesns raised this monument to his 
father (Trarela in Asia Minor, vol. i. 
p. SO i), is contrary to the whole tenor 
of ancient history, which furnishes no 
instance of snch filial piety. Monarchs 
bnilt their own tombs not only in 
Egypt, but through the East generally 
(cf. Herod, i. 187, on the sepulchre of 
Nitocris). There can be no doubt, 
from the inscription upon it, that 
Darius built his own tomb at Nakhsh-i- 
Rnstam (Sir H. Rawlinson's Cuneiform 
Inscriptions, vol. i. p. 290). 

® Larcher, vol. i. p. 211. " On sait 
que la plupart des Princes de 1' Orient 
associoient an tr6ne leur fils atn^. 
Quoique nous n'ayons aucune preuve 
directe qu' Alyattes ait associ6 Cr^sus, 
on doit cependant le pr^sumer." 

Clinton's Fast. Hell. vol. ii. p. 362. 
" Although Croesus reigned only four- 

teen years, yet it seems probable that 
he was associated in the government 
by his father, as Larcher argues at 
large. During this period of joint- 
government many of those things 
might have been transacted which are 
ascribed to Croesus, king of Lydia." 

Bahr and Wesseling were of the same 
opinion. (See Bahr's Herodotus, note 
upon i. 92 ; and Wesseling's Herodotus, 
note on i. 30.) 

» Herod, i. 92. 

* Notwithstanding the calnmess with 
which Larcher assumes the frequency 
of his practice (" on sait que la plupart 
des Princes de I'Orient assooioient au 
trdne leur fils atne "), I am inclined to 
think in Western Asia it was of exceed- 
ingly rare occurrence. In Egypt as- 
sociation was undoubtedly very fre- 
quent, as the monuments testify, and 
possibly the exaggeration of numbers 



App. Book L 

the association in the government of the heir-apparent by the 
reigning monarch, but of that very ordinary proceeding on the part 
of an eastern sovereign who anticipates his own demise, the nomi- 
nation of a successor.' It appears that, as the reign of Alyattes 
plainly approached its close, intrigues commenced among his sons, 
and a strong party was formed in favour of the prince Pantaleon, 
one of the half-brothers of Croesus, which caused no little alarm to 
the legitimate heir. Under these circumstances it became especially 
desirable, in order to avoid a disputed succession, that the king 
shonld distinctly confer the crown on one or other of his sons. This 
is the act to which Herodotus alludes in the passage whose meaning 
has been misconceived ; the expression which he uses is identically 
the same with that which occurs later in the book in reference to a 
similar event, the nomination of Cambyses as his successor by 
Cyrus, on the eve of his attack upon the Massagctce.' 

20. The order of events in the reign of CrcBSus has been already 
considered. The events themselves receive but little light from 
sources extraneous to Herodotus.* With respect to the enormous 
wealth for which this king was chiefly famous among the Greeks, 

in Eg^tian chronology may depend in 
some measnre on the great extent to 
which it was practised. Bnt among 
the early Oriental nations I know of 
only two well-authenticated instances 
(those of Belshazzar ; see the Essay * On 
the History of the Later Babylonians/ 
and Asshnr-bani-pal ; see the Essay 
'On the Chronology and History of 
the Great Assyrian Empire') of the as- 
Bociation of a son in the government 
during the lifetime of his father, 
a cnstom which belong^ to countries 
and times where the succession is very 
precarious, and certainly not to those 
states in which it is regainded as a right 
inherent in the reigning monarch to 
nominate .a successor from among his 
sons, as is the case usually in the East. 
Mr. Grote, with the correct apprccia. 
tionof the probable which disting^uishes 
him, understands the passage aright 
(yol. iii. p. 344). 

" Of this there are two clear in- 
stances even in Herodotus. Cyrus 
nominates Cambyses to succeed him 

ii. 208), and Darius nominates Xerxes 
vii. 3). In connection with the latter 
case Herodotus speaks of the practice 

as "a law of the Persian" (irar^ r^ 
Ufpffitey r6fiov). It has always pre- 
vailed in the East. See 1 Kings, i. 
12-40 (where, however, there is some, 
thing more like an installation than is 
usual in such cases), and Ockley's 
History of the Saracens (Bohn's edit.), 
pp. 138, 430, 452. 

^ In the first passage (i. 92) Hero- 
dotus says, 96vtos rod warphs, 
iKpdrriat rris iipxvs 6 KpoTaos; in tho 
second (i. 208), Kvpos 8^ KpoTaor is riLf 
Xctjpar iff$fU T^ iwvrov ireudl Kaftfi6<rp^ 
T^trtp r^v fiuffiKriiriy i9l9ou 
. . . Sie/Bouyc, k.t,\. This gift of the 
crown is beyond a doubt the same as 
the appointjnent spoken of in the case 
of Xerxes — i>s Je* /uy, itroH^^avra 
fiatriK^Of Karit rhv Htpaiotp v^fiory 
olhu arparfvarSsu .... 6 AapcZbr 
fioffiXU fjuy &ir49€^f (vii. 2, 3). 

* Mlian (V. H. iii. 26), Suidaa (in 
voc. 'Api(rTapxos)j and Polyajnus (vi. 50) 
have certain tales which admit of being 
introduced into tho history of the reign 
of Croesus as delivered by Herodotus ; 
but their authority is too slight, and 
the tales are too insig^ficant, to re« 
quire more than this cursory notice. 

Essay I. 



it may be observed that he probably owed it in part to the gold 
washings of Pact61ns and the mines of the same precious metal, 
which probably existed in the neighbouring mountains^ — in part to 
the tribute which he derived from the subject nations — in part to 
the confiscation of the estates of a political opponent — ^but chiefly to 
the careful husbanding of the national revenues by his father during 
the long period of peace which preceded his own accession.^ Its 
reality cannot be questioned ; for Herodotus had himself seen the 
ingots of solid gold, six palms long, three broad, and one deep (the 
size of a tail folio volume, of about the usual thickness), which to 
the number of one hundred and seventeen were laid up in the 
treasury at Delphi — proof at once of the riches and of the mmiificence 
of the princely donor. He had also beheld in various parts of 
Greece the following offerings, all in gold, which had been deposited 
in the Greek temples by the same opulent monarch : a figure of a 
lion, probably of the natural size; a wine-bowl of about the same 
weight as the lion ; a lustral vase ; a statue of a female, said to be 
Cr08sus*s baking- woman, four feet and a half high; a shield and 
spear ; a tripod ; some figures of cows, and a number of pillars ; 
and a second shield, in a different place from the first, and of greater 
size.^ Nor is there any improbability in the tradition which he has 
mentioned, that the offerings of Croesus to the oracular shrine at 
Branchidsa, which had been carried off by the Persians on the 
occasion of the Ionian revolt, were similar in character and equal in 
value to the gifts at Delphi.^ 

21. The wealth of Croesus, therefore, must be regarded as an 
established fact. The same historical character attaches to his con- 
quests, his alliances, his consultation of the Greek oracles, and 
particular satisfaction with those of Delphi and Amphiaraiis, his 
invasion of the dominions of Cyras and its consequences, the fall of 

■ Strsbo, xiii. p. 897. 

' The offerings at Delphi and at the 
shrine of Amphiaraiis are declared by- 
Herodotus to have been wholly- from 
this source, and may in some degree 
indicate its amplitude. They were 
the first-fruits (iatapx'^) of his inherit- 
ance ; the entire sum obtained by con. 
fiscation was laid out in offerings, and 
from hence were derived the gifts at 
Branchidas, at Ephesus, and at the 
temple of Jupiter Ismenius in Thebes 
(Herod, i. 92). 

7 See Herod, i. 50, 51, and 92. 

® Tk iv BpayxOv^i rfai MtKrifflmf 
iMoO^fiara Kpoiatfj &s 4yit wyBdyoftm, 
tea re araBfihy leal 6fio7a roT«ri 
4y A€\4>o7ai (Herod, i. 92). They 
were of such value that, at the break- 
ing out of the Ionian revolt, it was 
thought by one of the wisest of the 
Greeks, HecataDus the Milesian, that 
the success of the struggle depended 
on their being appb'ed to military pur- 
poses (Herod, y. 36). 



App. Book I. 

Sardis, and his own captivity. The narrative, however, into which 
these materials have been worked np, is altogether of a poetic 
character. It seems as if the imagination of the Greeks had been 
struck with peculiar force by the spectacle of that great reverse of 
fortune whereof the Lydian king was the victim. The tragedy had 
been acted, as it were, under their eyes ; and it was a sight alto- 
gether new to them. They had seen the rapid rise and growth of a 
magnificent empire upon their borders, and had felt its irresistible 
might in opposition to themselves : they had been dazzled by the 
lavish display of a wealth exceeding all that their poets had ever 
fabled of Colchis or Hesperia : they had no doubt shared in the con- 
fident expectation of further conquests with which the warrior- 
prince, at the head of his unvanquished bands, had crossed the 
Halys to attack his unknown enemy. And they had been spectators 
of the result. Within a few weeks the prosperous and puissant 
monarch, m